England v India, World T20, Group A, Colombo September 22, 2012

Zaheer the bowling Sachin - Dhoni

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Zaheer Khan has been hailed as the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian bowling as their captain, MS Dhoni, seeks to rouse the confidence of his leading strike bowler in India's final Group A match against England at R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday.

The match is meaningless in terms of qualification, with both sides through to the Super Eights, but it holds much significance for India as they look for the sort of improved form from Zaheer that will enable them to stay true to their policy of fielding only four frontline bowlers.

If Zaheer is to mark his 34th birthday by playing in the final of World Twenty20, both he and India will need to discover better form.

"It is easier to go after a bowler," Dhoni said after a practice session at P Sara Stadium. "If you look at his performances he should get equal respect that Sachin gets. He is the Sachin for us when it comes to the bowling department.

"He has led out attack for the last few years; he has been our best bowler whatever the format. Maybe in the last few games he has not got the wickets whether it be Test cricket, ODIs or T20 formats."

Zaheer's three overs cost 32 in an uncomfortable India win against Afghanistan and you have to go back to the Sydney Test against Australia in January to discover a match in which he has taken more than two wickets. That was 19 matches ago, in all competitions.

Until Sri Lanka's pitches begin to tire, and become more conducive to turn, Zaheer's form leaves a flaky Indian bowling attack particularly vulnerable. In comparing him to Tendulkar, Dhoni has played his biggest card of all.

Zaheer is likely to play against England, and India are likely to retain their seven-batsmen balance, but there will be changes in personnel. L Balaji might be rested, as might R Ashwin, enabling Piyush Chawla and Ashok Dinda to advance their claims. But it is Zaheer whose performance will come under most scrutiny.

"We have a chance of giving Zaheer a few games because we are in that stage where we can look to do that," Dhoni said, "But other players who are part of the side we also want to give games to them so that in the knockout stage everybody has had a few games.

"We are looking to make a few changes to our playing X1 so that most of the players get at least one game before going into the next stage. Later on if we are looking to play with the fifth bowler we will be able to play the fifth bowler who suits the conditions the best.

"It may happen in this game but see how it goes in the coming game and then we will be in a better position to decide in the next stage whether we have to play with five bowlers or we can manage with four."

India still feel constrained by the fact that it was their seventh batsman, Rohit Sharma, who made runs in the 12-a-side warm-up against Pakistan and so is not easily disposable when so many other batsmen are yet to strike form.

The warning to Zaheer was clear. "If you are playing with four bowlers and a part-timer, one of the bowlers can have an off-day at any time," Dhoni said. "But if one becomes two then there is considerable amount of pressure about how you will manage the resources. It is only a few games that we have in our hand. We hope being the experienced cricketer he is, he gets back and really works for us."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 23, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Ohhh no!!!!!!!!!!....now we have 2 spots in the Indian team fixed for the 2031 world cup...the God of cricket who won't retire even after his performance against New Zealand....and now Zaheer Khan whom our great captain Dhoni has claimed as the other Tendulkar...

  • may_the_best_win on September 23, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Yeh Dhoni is absolutely right!! Zaheer is the bowling sachin as both are burden to the team at the moment ;) ... on a serious note Mr. Dhoni I have never been so impressed by sachin (I consider Lara above him) but still he is an outstanding batsman and to compare a bowler of Zaheer's calibre is like comparing a horse and a donkey

  • KEVINSL on September 23, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    to india Zaheer is a sachin. to rest of the world --- club level bowler

  • on September 23, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    @Zaheer Khan: Did you get what MSD is trying to ask you? You don't deserve any place like Sachine in T20.

  • on September 23, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    The bowling Sachin - as in another senior we would like to see retire. :)

  • BellCurve on September 23, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Tendulkar has 33,969 international runs @ 48.94; Kallis has 24,781 @ 50.36. Zaheer has 587 international wickets @ 30.69; Kallis has 560 @ 32.10. I am not drawing any conclusions; nevertheless, these facts are certainly worthy of consideration.

  • Prakmca on September 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    One of the over rated bowler in indian line up is Zaheer. He is another Harbajan to indian team. He is not at all going to add any value to indian bowling attack. Comparing him with Sachin is an great insult.

    Dhoni please mind your words before saying anything. Backing players is fine, but think whether they really deserve it. Revisit Zaheer's performance for the past few matches... have he added any value???

  • 777aditya on September 23, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    With all due respect to Zaheer and Sachin, comparisons or no comparisons, both should retire immediately.

  • GRVJPR on September 23, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Dhoni is right. For those who are saying Zaheer is not worthy of respect comparabel to sachin must keep in mind that without zaheers wickets most Sachin 100's wil be meaningless. It's easir to score runs on flat tracks then taking wickets and that too without making much fuss about it. Zaheer surely deserves respect. But as far as this world cup is concerned he is way below power

  • swapnil0058 on September 23, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    All that "Dhoni - The Politician" means to say is Zaheer should also consider retirement!!!

  • on September 23, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Ohhh no!!!!!!!!!!....now we have 2 spots in the Indian team fixed for the 2031 world cup...the God of cricket who won't retire even after his performance against New Zealand....and now Zaheer Khan whom our great captain Dhoni has claimed as the other Tendulkar...

  • may_the_best_win on September 23, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Yeh Dhoni is absolutely right!! Zaheer is the bowling sachin as both are burden to the team at the moment ;) ... on a serious note Mr. Dhoni I have never been so impressed by sachin (I consider Lara above him) but still he is an outstanding batsman and to compare a bowler of Zaheer's calibre is like comparing a horse and a donkey

  • KEVINSL on September 23, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    to india Zaheer is a sachin. to rest of the world --- club level bowler

  • on September 23, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    @Zaheer Khan: Did you get what MSD is trying to ask you? You don't deserve any place like Sachine in T20.

  • on September 23, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    The bowling Sachin - as in another senior we would like to see retire. :)

  • BellCurve on September 23, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Tendulkar has 33,969 international runs @ 48.94; Kallis has 24,781 @ 50.36. Zaheer has 587 international wickets @ 30.69; Kallis has 560 @ 32.10. I am not drawing any conclusions; nevertheless, these facts are certainly worthy of consideration.

  • Prakmca on September 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    One of the over rated bowler in indian line up is Zaheer. He is another Harbajan to indian team. He is not at all going to add any value to indian bowling attack. Comparing him with Sachin is an great insult.

    Dhoni please mind your words before saying anything. Backing players is fine, but think whether they really deserve it. Revisit Zaheer's performance for the past few matches... have he added any value???

  • 777aditya on September 23, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    With all due respect to Zaheer and Sachin, comparisons or no comparisons, both should retire immediately.

  • GRVJPR on September 23, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Dhoni is right. For those who are saying Zaheer is not worthy of respect comparabel to sachin must keep in mind that without zaheers wickets most Sachin 100's wil be meaningless. It's easir to score runs on flat tracks then taking wickets and that too without making much fuss about it. Zaheer surely deserves respect. But as far as this world cup is concerned he is way below power

  • swapnil0058 on September 23, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    All that "Dhoni - The Politician" means to say is Zaheer should also consider retirement!!!

  • on September 23, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    HAHAHA ..DHONI IS PLAYING THE MASTERCARD HERE..THIS MEANS IF SACHIN CAN PLAY ZAHEER ALSO DESERVE TO BE IN THE TEAM...INDIRECTLY POINTING THAT TIME TO HANG UP BOOTS FOLKS..DHONI IS A MASTER IN THIS..LOVED IT

  • chinkart on September 23, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    dhoni the cunning fox,,,,,

  • gsingh7 on September 23, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    hope for zaheer hattrick of top order poms

  • on September 23, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    well said,, he clearly mention zaheer is like bowling sachin for indian cricket team, zaheer deserved this words, his contribution in indian bowling was invaluble.. cricket experts will know it and of-course many said that openly,, dont judge a player just by his bad performances,,

  • on September 23, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Dhoni means he should be retiring

  • on September 23, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Oh my god...I just don't have words how sorry I feel for Dhoni and his team to be in this situation... Comparing Zaheer to the caliber of such great players like Sachin and Wasim Akram... Come on India...atleast produce 1 fast bowler (Like the caliber of Mohammed Amir) in your 1 billion population to give Dhoni a chance to compare... So Sad

  • bipulkumar on September 23, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    4 Bowler theory is rubbish. 4 overs by a part timer can make a huge difference in T20 compared to any other format because here players have license to kill. Players like Ashwin, Irfan, Harbhajan etc are good enough to score runs in T20. There is no need to go with long batting lineup. All good teams have 5 good bowlers. Dhoni is making a big mistake here.

  • on September 23, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    Dhoni is a master tactician on the field and a master Politician off it.

  • srisharma_12 on September 23, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    Dhoni please don't compare Sachin with Zaheer .Sachin is a great player ,he played divine innings in Sharjah and many memorable innings all over the world.My suggestion is replace Sehwag,Zaheer with Manoj Tiwary and Ashok Dinda.

  • on September 23, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Dhoni is probably indicating both of these oldies to retire gracefully or perform. Having such experience and performing good every 7 or 8 games does not help.

  • sanghvir on September 23, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    I think what Dhoni is trying to tell is Both should hang up their shoes now... its hightime.

  • on September 23, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    Even I also think that Dhoni is taking dig at Sachin's selection and want to say that if Sachin can play then Zaheer also have right to be included in the final 11. But fool forgot the contribution and capabilities of both. While Zaheer is best Indian fast bowler in current lot (Which places him nowhere at world level), Sachin is one of the best batsman of all time! So no comparison!

  • Ram67 on September 23, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    This must be the joke of the Century. Either Dhoni is underrating Sachin or overrating Zaheer.

  • sony_sr on September 23, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Final desperate attempt one must guess. I hope zaheer will retire from t20 and odis after this worldcup. Even his fitness to play test matches is in doubt.

  • on September 23, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    That a very bad comment from Dhoni on Sachin. Khan is a average bowler who sometimes bowls brilliantly. 12 yrs is long time to become a dreaded bowler in world cricket. Zaheer is far from it.

  • on September 23, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    my point is in 20- 20 match if we have Irphan pathan batting at number 7 why do we need a proper batsman at that position. Harbhajan and Ashwin are both quality spinner who can bat as well. Even if we have 6 batsman and 5 bowlers , 3 bowlers that is Irphan pathan , ahswin and harbhajan are more than capable to bat last 3-4 overs in 20 -20. Dhoni should have confidence on his team. If don't have confidence than even if you keep 8 batsman in 20 - 20 team they will not deliver. Show faith in your batsman and bowlers and play 6 batsman 5 bowlers. IRphan, harbhajan, Ashwin, Zaheer khan , Dinda.

  • RandyOZ on September 23, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    The two most overrated teams in World cricket. Miles behind the likes of South Africa and Australia when it comes to cricketing success.

  • on September 23, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    we dont have t20 special bowlers. no indian bowler is very good at ipl. zaheer not selected in t20 in SA. why now? bad decision by chika. rp.singh/munaf/praveen/aaron/yadav/vinay all gave too many runs in ipl and many not playing and dropped many times. no choice but zaheer should do it now.

  • timohyj on September 23, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    zaheer is one of the 5 best fast bowlers in the world, and all you people who are saying he is terrible after one match obviously don't know much about cricket. against afghanistan he only bowled one bad ball. But several edges went for boundaries. Also, zaheer usually takes time to find his rythm so in the latter half of the tournament he will be awesome

  • cricisme on September 23, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    Both bowling and batting sachin must act like sachin to continue or become a coach and help the team.

  • Psycho_08 on September 22, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    This is a good tactic by Dhoni. I recently started watching Cricket but in football, the manager will often use the press conference to communicate with key players and motivate them. India are a batting dependent team. That's how India won the first T20 world cup. Pakistan won the second one with a great bowling and then England won with a balanced team. Everyone has an opinion on which type of cricket will be successful. However, we all know which is the most exciting... INDIA!!

  • ElPhenomeno on September 22, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    If I didn't know any better, and I was drinking the dhoni kool-aid I might believe it. The way dhoni talks you'd think zaheer is the new wasim akram. Funny, right!

  • SICHO on September 22, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Lol I guess that makes Sachin the batting Zaheer.

  • zan_69 on September 22, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    Sachin Zaheer Both are old now.Time go retire

  • ravi424 on September 22, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Hope Dhoni throws some jelly beans at zaheer, and tells him that Eng did it...only way to get him to bowl properly.

    And dhoni should open with Kohli. We have to make the best batsmen play 20 overs...my line up would be

    Dhoni, Kohli, Gambhir, Raina, Yuvraj, Sharma, Tiwary, Pathan, Harbhajan, Ashwin, ZK,

  • Cluedin on September 22, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Maybe what Dhoni means is that Zaheer should also retire from the T-20 format. Or tongue in cheek, both are too old to manage the rigours of the cricket schedule now but refuse to retire?

  • Nutcutlet on September 22, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    And who is the Sachin of slow bowling then? And who is the Sachin of wicket keeping? And is there a Sachin in the comm box, by any chance? Perhaps these other Sachin categories don't exist, only the one that pertains to fast(ish) bowling, which is hardly India's strongest suit. This begs the question: is to be the Sachin of Anything in 2012 really the tribute MSD apparently wants it to be taken for? Most perceptive Indian fans have known for a while in which direction SRT's stock is moving. Is, therefore, ZK's reputation also on a slow & graceful decline? Is that the real message to be taken from this fascinating comparison?

  • sukku88 on September 22, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    This is Dhoni's desperate attempt to motivate Out-of-form Zack...!!! Hope it will succeed... But in my opinion, for T20's, fitness level of Zack is questionable... Though he has played a major role in Odi WC & deserves his due credits, T20 cricket is not suitable for him with his current form & fitness level... Anyways.. All the best ZK.. We adore you.. And we don't want to see humiliating yourself.. Get in form soon...

  • on September 22, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    @Mannix16 are you serious prasad better than Zak...hahaha.please open your eyes its 2012.

  • forestdreams on September 22, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    This is an overstatement. Dhoni you can't bring out the best in Zaheer by using head games. Sorry, I don't see Zaheer performing this T20 World cup.

  • Edassery on September 22, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Dhoni is a smart chap and the hidden meaning in his statement is very clear. He would like to see Zaheer retire along with Sachin Tendulkar pretty soon :)

    It's time India start their hunt again for a couple of quality pacemen with some real long term plan. Well, that brings back the fast pitch topic and all that...

  • on September 22, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    All time India team- all formats:

    1 - Gavaskar 2 - Srikkanth 3 - Kohli 4 - Ganguly 5 - Sehwag 6 - Kapil Dev 7 - Dhoni 8 - Ashwin 9 - Kumble 10- Dale Styen (we need to make him and Indian) 11 - Bedi

  • OT12 on September 22, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    How can Dhoni say that I mean what about Srinath, Kapil??? who were they then for India, but one sensible thing DHoni did was that he didnt compared him to bowlers from other teams, as I can bet on that if Zaheer was playing for any other country he would have lasted for couple of test a dozen Odis and few T20s,

  • on September 22, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    what dhoni means is he is not equivalent to sachin literally but the value he has for the bowling department in india is pretty much as much as the value of sachin has to india's batting. and i sure agree with him. a simple fact to justify his statement is, zak is the only bolwer in the past couple of decades who has played as much 12 years. only one apart from him is srinath who played for about 11 years. so now one who estimate his consistency he has had, and when you consider the rest of his peers his value increases even more.

  • Victorkarunakaran on September 22, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Zaheer is a champion and he will bounce back for sure

  • sweetspot on September 22, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    @Ben Wise - when was the last time Zaheer gave 92 against Bangladesh in 10 overs? Oops! I guess that was Anderson!

  • RakeshKumarNoida on September 22, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Dhoni is right in saying, He want Zaheer to be retired from the T20s same as Sachin. Zaheer listen what Dhoni is saying, you are wicketless and not giving good performance since good times so it's last chance for you... Don't be on cloud what he is saying...

  • umair1970 on September 22, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    All the chagrined tendulkar fans need to understand that dhoni is NOT saying Zaheer is to world cricket bowling what tendulkar is to cricket batting- which would make Zaheer one of the all time greats etc etc, and would certainly be a fanciful statement. What dhoni said was ZAheer is to INDIAN bowling what Tendulkar is to Indian batting. Which is completely true. Zaheer has been the spearhead of a group that has consisted of Nehra, RP aingh, ishant, Irfan Pathan, Agarkar, Praveen Kumar, just as tendulkar has been over a group that has consisted of Dravid, Ganguly, Sehwag, lakshman, Yuvraj, Ghambir. To say that chinos is out of line is to say India has produced world class bowlers in the last decade. It hasn't. Zaheer himself is not a hall of famer but he is India's best

  • kirankerai on September 22, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    he may be but that means he will be on the losing side

  • ReverseSweepIndia on September 22, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    To me fault is not with Zaheer rather it is with selectors. Zak has been out of picture in T20 since long. Well he played IPL, but so does Sachin. He has been brilliant for us in last 3-4 years. In SA without him we were mauled in first test. He came back in second and even after scoring 135 odd in 1st inning we won. Even in 3rd test we were in better position. His position alone lifts the team. Even in Eng he he bowled 6 odd overs and he had both openers removed. He left the field injured and rest is history (not taking anything away from Eng they were brilliant, but I believe scoreline may not have been 4-0 if Zak lasted). In Aus too we always had them 3 down for 50 odd, always but never could sustain pressure. Zak is still a good bowler, but he need not in a T20 squad in first place.

  • on September 22, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    He led the attack well and is the leader of the bowling, dont forget he's coming from an injry and crossed 30, I thnk we should give some time to him and see if he can get back to shape and form and keep leading the attck till we get the replacemnt... I thnk dhoni is right he is the sachin of our bowling and nearing his end but dont want to go!

  • on September 22, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    We definitely need to play Dinda against England. Need some pace up front. No Umesh Yadav in this tournament, big mistake.

  • Gizza on September 22, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    I think Dhoni is onto something. Both Zaheer and Sachin were quite good 5 years but should be close to retiring now unless they want to bring the team further down (at least Sachin has retired in T20I so Zaheer it is your turn now).

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on September 22, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    well said dhoni

  • praveen4honestremark on September 22, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @Nampally on (September 22 2012, 13:45 PM GMT)..Brother for every comment you make if you try and look into records and compare and justify your comments then it called as" analysis". MSD is not analyzing Sachin with Dhoni in terms of greatness. What he means is simple: " We need Zaheer as he is important for us like how is Sachin is important for India", in his words. Sachin is untouchable i feel ,for you.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on September 22, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Well!!i dont want to talk about zaheer's bowling in Tests and Odi's..eventhough he will bowl well in the upcoming T20's but he will give more than ten runs with his fielding..thats more worrying with his form in T20's.

  • Mannix16 on September 22, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Dhoni must be joking. Srinath, Prasad, and Kapil were just cast aside? Who was the jury for this? Zaheer is definitely up there for INDIAN Cricket (wouldn't even be a thought for International Cricket), but not the best.

  • on September 22, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Those people who think of Zaheer any less than what Dhoni said, then they have either not seen him bowl or they are just deliberately being jealous. Zaheer has literally carried the team forget bowling attack on his back. Leave Zaheer out of a match and see the win % that India would have achieved in all all three formats of cricket. Dhoni has stated what I said on various forums about more than 1000 times.....Zaheer is the best bowler ever produced by India, if you discount the initial talent shown by Irfan and Ishant. Without Zaheer: 1) No World Cup 2) No Australian test victories 3) No south African test victories 4) No England test victories etc etc....

  • on September 22, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    He will be back...Zaheer will be back, but Indian selectors have failed badly in their job to develop good fast bowlers. Not one appears is sight who can threaten the batsman, almost all the good work done by Wright and Ganguly looks like being washed off.

  • ilovecricket1234 on September 22, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    I think Zaheer is still upset that he got no recognition for the amazing opening bowling at the 2011 World Cup with his maiden overs! A gross injustice was done on him with no one mentioning anything. Why do you think he acted injured after that and India got clobbered in England and Zaheer must have been smiling. All leaders, when someone deserves praise, do it otherwise your inaction and lack of words will come back to haunt you when you don't appreciate. Dhoni needs him now so he is praising him! How opportunistic!

  • xylo on September 22, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    I hope Zaheer does not feel offended by being called a passenger in the team, aka Sachin, and not really bother about performing but living on way past fame.

  • Nampally on September 22, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    "Zaheer being equivalent to Tendulkar of Indian Bowling"? Common Dhoni, it is irresponsible to make such baseless statements. ZAK has just 292 Wkts from 85 Test matches at an average of 32 runs/wkt. MSD is comparing this record to the World leading record of Sachin's just to silence the critics? At 34, ZAK is at the end of the road as a pace bowler. He was hit at 11 runs/over by a Minnows Afghanistan team! The very same team crumbled against the England pace bowlers on the same wicket. The best pace bowler India has produced in the recent times have been Kapil, Srinath & preceded by Nissar, Amar singh before WW -2 & Ramakant Desai in 60's. ZAK at his best does not compare to these bowlers. Even now India has young guns like Aaron, Yadev, Unadkat who can be trained into good fast bowlers. India should focus on young fast bowlers who are in 140 KPH range than using guys like ZAK, Balaji as their seamers. MSD,Your defence for ZAK's failures is commendable but is an exercise in futility !

  • on September 22, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    i am not supporting MS's statement but at the same time i am disappointed by the fans bashing zaheer because of his bowling performance since last year.alright he isn't performing well but he is the bowler who won the world cup for us and was declared the best swing bowler in the current era not a long time ago by some greats who know cricket a lot better than us do.so just give the man some respect for what he has done for us and support him in his tough times as you did in his peak times.remember they are all our great players not toys so that only applause their good performance but as soon as they don't perform well just throw them away..!!!

  • on September 22, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    He said in Bowling, Don't forget Zaheer Khan, who made the way to finals in WC2003 and has been consistently taking wickets in Tests and ODIs from Top Order, he has a class makes him different from other Indian Pace bowlers, India ever produced. It's not a cup of tea to bear Zaheer Khan for any world class batsman on his day, when his bowls moving both sides. Lets not forget that he is only one who fills 'Josh' in you when he starts running from bowling mark. HE WILL HIS CLASS.

  • vik56in on September 22, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    MSD's logic does have some sense.Cricket is a batsman's game and Zaheer has never been given his due.Bowlers win test matches and Zaheer was the primary bowler responsible for India's 1-0 win over England in the 2007 4 match test series in England.People still talk about MSD and Gambhir's innings in the 2011 World cup triumph.But does anyone remember that it was Zaheer who started off his spell with a 3 over maiden wicket.C'mmon guys ,lets give the man his due!

  • acharyaanurag on September 22, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    You're joking Dhoni, surely?

  • sachin_vvsfan on September 22, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    They are resting R Ashwin and there is nothing to look in our bowling dept for ENG match. As for Zaheer vs sachin i agree both are embarrasing their fans at the end of their career.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 22, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Zaheer is the 'Sachin' of fast bowling ? Well.. I guess that's about right given how they both have similar looking mullets for a hairstyle nowadays !!! Jeez... that was corny MSD.

  • Percy_Fender on September 22, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    I fully agree with Meety on his views. Zaheer has been very good for India for a long time. But he always had a fitness problem. Now he seems to have gained a lot of weight and that can affect any players normal discipline. Sachin has never been unfit on the field as Zaheer seems to have become recently. He just does not have it in him for this format of the game and should never have been selected in the first place. I wish the selectors had left him to prepare himself for the oncoming tours of England and Australia.In fact they should get Sreesanth and Munaf ready too. On this World Cup they should play Balaji, Pathan and Dinda against England. Who knows the old magic of Pakistan 2004 might work !

  • on September 22, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    What is the big idea to talk about the past performances of Zaheer. After the World cup, he couldnt take more than two wickets in a match in any format including IPL. How can he deserves a place in knock out matches? It's more burden for him as well as team.

  • veerakannadiga on September 22, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Dhoni feels that Zaheer should get the same respect as SRT. Nobody, I repeat Nobody, will ever be respected like SRT. Most of our generation grew up adoring SRT. That infatuation will never diminish. Come to think of it, nobody performed the way SRT performed for the last couple of decades or so. The closest anybody came to be respected like SRT, was the Great Dravid.

  • Meety on September 22, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Gee it's a bit dicey comparing Zaheer to SRT across the two disciplines. The ONLY Indian bowler that can campare to SRT the batsmen, would be Kumble. Zaheer wouldn't even be a VVS, although he is arguably India's greatest pacer.

  • AMAZINGFAN on September 22, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    why r they resting ashwin he has been the best bowler for india and u need ur best bowler in ur playing xi,already our bowling is weak now without ashwin this bowling attack is toothless.....

  • TRAM on September 22, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Dhoni may try whatever to encourage Zak. We all know Zak threatens only few batsmen, that too only those lefties who are not able to pick his straighter ones. Most importantly Zak has never ever performed great in any T20s. I still remember one Mr. Hayden treated Zak with four consecutive 4s in an IPL match. And today's Zak is few years older now and slower! Some obvious observations: No pace, cant bowl yorkers, slower ones, does not change his delivery intelligently in the last fraction of the second if the batsman moves from the crease before the delivery. These are must-have's in T20s. Lets not talk about fielding & batting. Sachin even now at 40 years is far better fielder than Zak. I would rather have Sachin in place of Zak (even for bowling I mean). Those 40 runs in 4 overs, let Sachin give, but we get a great batter and better fielder.

  • Afsalk on September 22, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    I am sure zaheer will retain the form he will start the wicket taking very soon

  • chandanbleedsblue on September 22, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    where is the zaheer of old , who used to bowl toe-crushing yorkers. this latest version of zaheer is of no use.

  • on September 22, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    are u kidding,ZAK been nowhere near to that.......

  • kingkarthik on September 22, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    @Alexk400 - They are the new targets for blame because India have gotten ridden of Dravid, Kumble, VVS and Sachin in this format who have always been blamed irrespective of any factor. So now we find new scapegoats. P.s. I know that you don't like Sachin, so would not except you to agree with me on him.

  • on September 22, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    Zaheer is definitely an asset for test matches and even important ODIs. He is now a wily and cunning bowler who needs time to set the batsmen up for which he needs a few overs. This luxury is not available in T20 and so he is a misfit only there. If carefully managed, India can get an year or two out of him still. He should also realize this and retire at least from T20I Cricket.

  • India-The-ultimate-winner on September 22, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Please bring back Sreesanth...India can't win the world cup without him....

  • on September 22, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Yeah I reckon MSD is about right, Zaheer has given away over 100 runs in an inninags around a hundred times....

  • SagirParkar on September 22, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Dhoni looks to be a good player-manager... he always tries to get the best from the bunch he has been given.. however, i bet that even he cannot ignore the woeful form that some of his senior players are in at the moment... the sooner they address that issue - or just select players who are IN form - the better for them.. somehow i do not feel that India will lift the trophy.. unlike the ODI World Cup where many players contributed in their little ways, this time round there seems to be only Kohli, Dhoni and Ashwin who are doing their bit..

  • joseyesu on September 22, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    May be Dhoni can boast of this, but i did not find him troubling any batsman other than G.Smith, Strauss, Tharanga... I don't remember him getting any MOM even. But his performace during WC2011 was commendable.

  • Alexk400 on September 22, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Blaming sehwag and zaheer khan is the trend now. Its seems like they are target of everyone for some weird reasoning. They are the best in their department. They are off colour for last few matches but what about rest?.

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  • Alexk400 on September 22, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Blaming sehwag and zaheer khan is the trend now. Its seems like they are target of everyone for some weird reasoning. They are the best in their department. They are off colour for last few matches but what about rest?.

  • joseyesu on September 22, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    May be Dhoni can boast of this, but i did not find him troubling any batsman other than G.Smith, Strauss, Tharanga... I don't remember him getting any MOM even. But his performace during WC2011 was commendable.

  • SagirParkar on September 22, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Dhoni looks to be a good player-manager... he always tries to get the best from the bunch he has been given.. however, i bet that even he cannot ignore the woeful form that some of his senior players are in at the moment... the sooner they address that issue - or just select players who are IN form - the better for them.. somehow i do not feel that India will lift the trophy.. unlike the ODI World Cup where many players contributed in their little ways, this time round there seems to be only Kohli, Dhoni and Ashwin who are doing their bit..

  • on September 22, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Yeah I reckon MSD is about right, Zaheer has given away over 100 runs in an inninags around a hundred times....

  • India-The-ultimate-winner on September 22, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Please bring back Sreesanth...India can't win the world cup without him....

  • on September 22, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    Zaheer is definitely an asset for test matches and even important ODIs. He is now a wily and cunning bowler who needs time to set the batsmen up for which he needs a few overs. This luxury is not available in T20 and so he is a misfit only there. If carefully managed, India can get an year or two out of him still. He should also realize this and retire at least from T20I Cricket.

  • kingkarthik on September 22, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    @Alexk400 - They are the new targets for blame because India have gotten ridden of Dravid, Kumble, VVS and Sachin in this format who have always been blamed irrespective of any factor. So now we find new scapegoats. P.s. I know that you don't like Sachin, so would not except you to agree with me on him.

  • on September 22, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    are u kidding,ZAK been nowhere near to that.......

  • chandanbleedsblue on September 22, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    where is the zaheer of old , who used to bowl toe-crushing yorkers. this latest version of zaheer is of no use.

  • Afsalk on September 22, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    I am sure zaheer will retain the form he will start the wicket taking very soon