Rehan Ahmed aiming to step up as the new Adil Rashid for WI vs Eng encounter

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For more than a decade, England’s white-ball setup has been Adil’s wristspin. Filling the shoes of any world-class performer is always a doomed task. And those anointed to do so rarely appreciate the burden of expectation. But, step forward Rehan Ahmed. Rehan was the star in England’s loss to West Indies in the first ODI, claiming 2 for 40 from his ten overs, spinning the ball sharply in both directions. His googly, which is arguably more of a stock delivery is sensational. A modern-day leg spinner in the shape of Rashid Khan as opposed to Shane Warne. At a time when England are heading into the final years of Rashid’s career, Rehan is developing as a blessing. Rehan was picked for Pakistan last winter on the basis that Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum liked it. “I don’t mind being hit for runs,” said Rehan. “I just want to take wickets. The runs aren’t really part of it. I know there’s going to be a couple days where I get it wrong and I get hit around, which I’m fine with, it’s just more when I’m on top and I’m bowling well to [try to ] impact the game as much as I can.” On Sunday in Antigua, Rehan gave West Indies No. 3 Keacy Carty a living nightmare. In 17 deliveries to Carty, Rehan conceded just seven runs. “I think there was a couple of overs in there I could have maybe attacked a bit more,” Rehan said. “I think so,” Rehan replied when asked if he reckoned England could play with two leggies in one side. “Rash is probably the best leg spinner in the world right now and whenever I’m with him I try to take as much information as I can, especially on his leg spinner – he’s got about 12 so I just try to pick one of them for now. But it has offered me a lot and I’m getting a bit more sidespin than I used to. I played a couple of T20s in the summer and the Bangladesh game [in March] as well so I think it was a nice feeling for all of us together. What’s more, if the idea of more than one leg spinner in a team is cause for excitement, a team with more than one Ahmed is doubly so, with Rehan’s brother, Farhan, a 15-year-old offspinner, set to be named in England men’s Under-19 World Cup squad. Rehan is one of three brothers, and the family have a strong cricketing bond with his elder brother playing regularly for Nottinghamshire 2nd XI.

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