After three Tests, Khaled Ahmed's bowling average was 291 and his bowling strike rate was 465. He made his debut against Zimbabwe in November 2018 in Mirpur, bowled 30 overs in the match, and went wicketless. In his next Test in Seddon Park against New Zealand, he bowled 30 overs without a wicket.
He returned to the Test scene almost three years later but once again didn't have a very good Test match against Pakistan but got his first Test wicket by getting Babar Azam out. At that point, his bowling average was the worst among fast bowlers who had taken at least one Test wicket. Khaled Ahmed had possibly the worst start to his Test career.
Fast forward eight months and he is now one of the key members of the pace unit. The way he has turned the corner has been truly remarkable. In South Africa, he picked up four wickets in the first innings of the first Test including the wicket of the Protea skipper Dean Elgar.
In the second Test, Khaled bowled well again, picking up another three-for in Gqeberha. But his bowling numbers took a hit again as he bowled 46 wicketless overs across two Tests against Sri Lanka at home.
But the team management backed him and the right-arm seamer repaid the faith in the Caribbean. In the first innings of the first match in Antigua, Khaled removed both the West Indies top-scorers - Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood. In the second innings, defending just 84, Khaled ran riot with the new ball, picking up three wickets in the space of 11 balls and gave the hosts a real scare.
He was mighty impressive again in Gros Islet, picking up his maiden five-wicket haul in this format and in the process became the first Bangladeshi fast bowler to take five in an innings in the Caribbean. The mode of dismissals will give us an idea about how well he has bowled throughout the series.
Khaled has taken 10 wickets so far in the series and has bowled the batters three times, got one of them leg-before and three of them caught behind. But probably the dismissal he enjoyed the most was that of Kyle Mayers, the top-scorer of the second innings of the second Test. He bowled an off-cutter that stopped on the surface and Mayers miscued it straight to mid-on. Khaled was seen trying a few variations like the knuckle ball and the off-cutter in the previous match as well and it was refreshing to see him getting success using it.
"Every wicket was special for the team since it was my first five-wicket haul. But I enjoyed Mayers' wicket the most. Because I had been trying to get him out since the second day. I am happy to get him out according to my plan," Khaled said at the end of the day.
Khaled has been Bangladesh's second-highest wicket-taker in Tests this year (18 wickets in six matches) but his record at home is something that he will want to improve soon. Khaled's bowling has probably been one of the very few shining lights in the series for Bangladesh. Under the able supervision of Allan Donald, the fast bowler from Sylhet will look to become a more reliable performer.