India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 2nd day October 2, 2010

Smart Zaheer proves his worth again

ESPNcricinfo staff
Once the prodigal son frittering away his talent, he has been a man on a mission ever since he returned to the side in South Africa four years ago
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India is no country for pace bowlers. That might explain the Anton Chigurh intensity that Zaheer Khan brings with him to the middle. Once the prodigal son frittering away his talent, he has been a man on a mission ever since he returned to the side in South Africa four years ago. When Tim Paine was brilliantly caught by VVS Laxman low to his left at second slip, it gave him a 10th five-wicket haul, only the third Indian pace bowler to achieve the feat. Kapil Dev had 23 from 131 Tests and Javagal Srinath 10 from his 67.

In his second avatar, Zaheer, who has the best strike-rate (59) of any Indian bowler with more than 200 wickets, has taken seven five-wicket hauls in 31 Tests. The strike-rate during that period (52.6) is comparable with the elite fast bowlers of any era. On more than one occasion, he has inspired Indian victories, providing breakthroughs with new ball and old.

On Indian soil, where the ball loses its shine quickly, his mastery of reverse swing has been central to the team's fortunes. Even when the slow bowlers have walked off with the big swag of wickets, Zaheer has invariably rattled the stumps or angled one away to take the outside edge when the team was desperate for a breakthrough.

These days, his status as leader of the pack is beyond dispute. Harbhajan Singh, who was the supporting act in Mohali on the second day, said as much when asked to assess his team-mate's importance to the side. "Zak bowled his heart out today, he deserves a lot of credit for his performance," he said. "He will surely be remembered as one of the greats who bowled [fast] for India, like Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath. Taking wickets on this track - there's no carry - is very difficult. He's very smart with reverse swing."

Zaheer shouldered an additional burden on day two, with Ishant Sharma unable to bowl till the 49th over, having left the field injured on Friday. It meant that India delayed taking the new ball till the 147th over, by which time he had tried pretty much everything to coax something out of the older, softer ball.

He eventually finished with 5 for 94, but will doubtless wonder just how much better the returns could have been had his mates held their catches. Neither Shane Watson nor Tim Paine had gotten off the mark when dropped off his bowling, by Virender Sehwag at gully and MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Between them, they occupied the crease for 89 overs and scored 218 runs.

"We always complain about our fielding, and there's always room to improve," said Harbhajan with typical candour. "Some days, I've seen these guys take brilliant catches and making diving stops. We know we need to help the bowlers. Hopefully, in the second innings, we won't drop any."

As with most matches played in India, the first innings will be decisive. India will need to at least match Australia's 428 to have any chance of forcing a result, but with few signs of wear on the surface so far, Harbhajan was confident that the game hadn't drifted away. "We need to bat well in the first innings and put pressure when they bat second," he said. "There will be some wear and tear and some spin, and we will try to bowl them out for as little as we can and try and chase that on the fifth day."

He admitted, however, that the loss of Virender Sehwag just before stumps was a major setback, after he had once again toyed with the bowlers in the early stages. "Viru looks to dominate, it doesn't matter whether he's playing in Perth, Mohali, Sydney or England, and he wins a lot of games," said Harbhajan. "It would have been nice if he was still there, but we have Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, [VVS] Laxman, [Suresh] Raina, Dhoni, and myself ... we have a lot of batting."

Those batsmen will need to stand up and be counted on Sunday. Two years ago, when the series started in Bangalore, Zaheer and Harbhajan had to bail India out of a desperate situation in order to save the game. Having strived so hard with the ball, Zaheer will hope that no such heroics are needed this time.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Razor88 on October 3, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    @Krisdaleo : well Said!!! All we need is fast bowler with zak and if possible an allrounder(medium pace)like Morkel or watson ... India can do real better ..... BCCI Should send lot more youngsters to Other countries for Playing County, in that way they can get play with good players and lean new stuffs... also the valuable Foreign cond Experience ....

    On topic : Zaheer is awesome when its reversing!!! He is one of the few bowlers(left-arm) these days who can do it consistently

  • on October 3, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    where are th quicks??? th mithun,, the munafs,, th tyagis,, and the quickest of them all ISHANT sharma.........take the one man out of india and u wonder who will hold this fort,,,,,,,,, ZAHEER khan now an aged warhorse has N 20year OLD ishant to compliment,, in a a different way,, ishant once touched 150kmph + speed is bowling at 120kmph,,,what these guys hold for indian fast bowling is a painful story... one guy looked potent is UMESH YADAV, he is going to be quick without doubt,,, ZAHEER for time being needs to c arry th torch of pace,,,, zaheer has much more to offer,,

  • vineetphysics2006 on October 3, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    @ElectronSmoke hi dear...Australians have played their cricket in their own hard way.......simply sledging and taking vital breakthroughs.......and now let them see others can play so called hard cricket also......and grind them under pressure........frankly this indian team is at least 100 times better than Australians........the result is they were indulged in a draw with inexperienced Pakistan on a neutral ground vindicates my point...and who knows if Pakistan have not indulged in spot fixing they might have won the series as well.....ashes are near and they should better be prepared for the humiliation of loosing ashes at home to the talented English side.......they should be ready to get this shock. which is inevitable now seeing their haplessly slow performance with bat......

  • Victorian-Roo on October 3, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Zak is an asset 2 Team India. We Indians know his worth & so does Team India. It is very unfortunate dat d rest of d world don't give him d same credit he deserves. For me he is currently d world's best left arm bowler (Mohd Aamer has played too little 2 b called d 'best'). There is no iota of doubt dat he is among d top India has produced. Fast bowlers r scarce here & Zaheer is a breath of fresh air...his seam position & control of d old & new ball is exemplary, something dat all left armers wud love 2 emulate. The reason why his stats suggest otherwise is purely becoz he doesn't get much support from d other end, which actually puts 2 much pressure on him. Wish he had 1 decent partner at d other end who cud compliment him. @vipin.chaudhary2325...I wud also like 2 c Irfan bowling from d other end. But he has 2 increase his pace. Gary made it very clear dat it is no use having a person who bowls only 125 kmph in test matches. His verdict was clear. Its time he pulls up his sox

  • MSDonLSD on October 3, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    I think some Indians (Naren here for example!) do not realize Zaheer Khans worth in the Indian team and that is just plain ignorant! India's climb to the number one test position is owed just as much to Zaheer as much it is to our renowned batting line up. Zak you make me proud not only with your skills but with your attitude on the field as well....especially Punters he clearly deserves all the banter you throw at him....what can I say Naren...what comes around goes around!

  • fkauser on October 3, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Zaheer is any & everytime better bowler than any other in india........and even i would love to see irfan pathan in the team its only a politics which is keeping him out of the Team India .......Bring Irfan Back for test as well as oneday and t-20

  • natmastak_so-called on October 3, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    @ naren .. Zak has achieved more than punter.zak has lead the mediocre bowling attack from rank five to rank one in tests. Punter lead mediocre batting line up from rank one to rank five.learn to give credit where iit iis due.

  • on October 3, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Harbhajan has included himself in the "lot of batting to come" - LMAO, cant believe this! hahaha!

  • spinkingKK on October 3, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Australia played so poorly to limb to 428 in 5 sessions. India shouldn't worry too much and bat on. However, a result seems unlikely. I am still waiting for a day when India finally gives up its hopes on an Ishant Sharma revival. It is never going to happen unless they drop him. This guy is pampered, spoon fed and has been made a millionare. Give him a break to understand life and grow up. He will come good. Sreesanth would be able to do the job better. I am excited to see Dravid batting so positive. Looking forward to the thrid day to see him go about his business in aggressive manner.

  • saitama on October 3, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    hi,Zak is bettr thn srinath,he is a gr8 fast bowler after kapildev.his stats told..but team mates doesn't co-operate wid his bowling..irfan pathn is the better partnr to his bowling,selectors giv some chances to irfan..

  • Razor88 on October 3, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    @Krisdaleo : well Said!!! All we need is fast bowler with zak and if possible an allrounder(medium pace)like Morkel or watson ... India can do real better ..... BCCI Should send lot more youngsters to Other countries for Playing County, in that way they can get play with good players and lean new stuffs... also the valuable Foreign cond Experience ....

    On topic : Zaheer is awesome when its reversing!!! He is one of the few bowlers(left-arm) these days who can do it consistently

  • on October 3, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    where are th quicks??? th mithun,, the munafs,, th tyagis,, and the quickest of them all ISHANT sharma.........take the one man out of india and u wonder who will hold this fort,,,,,,,,, ZAHEER khan now an aged warhorse has N 20year OLD ishant to compliment,, in a a different way,, ishant once touched 150kmph + speed is bowling at 120kmph,,,what these guys hold for indian fast bowling is a painful story... one guy looked potent is UMESH YADAV, he is going to be quick without doubt,,, ZAHEER for time being needs to c arry th torch of pace,,,, zaheer has much more to offer,,

  • vineetphysics2006 on October 3, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    @ElectronSmoke hi dear...Australians have played their cricket in their own hard way.......simply sledging and taking vital breakthroughs.......and now let them see others can play so called hard cricket also......and grind them under pressure........frankly this indian team is at least 100 times better than Australians........the result is they were indulged in a draw with inexperienced Pakistan on a neutral ground vindicates my point...and who knows if Pakistan have not indulged in spot fixing they might have won the series as well.....ashes are near and they should better be prepared for the humiliation of loosing ashes at home to the talented English side.......they should be ready to get this shock. which is inevitable now seeing their haplessly slow performance with bat......

  • Victorian-Roo on October 3, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Zak is an asset 2 Team India. We Indians know his worth & so does Team India. It is very unfortunate dat d rest of d world don't give him d same credit he deserves. For me he is currently d world's best left arm bowler (Mohd Aamer has played too little 2 b called d 'best'). There is no iota of doubt dat he is among d top India has produced. Fast bowlers r scarce here & Zaheer is a breath of fresh air...his seam position & control of d old & new ball is exemplary, something dat all left armers wud love 2 emulate. The reason why his stats suggest otherwise is purely becoz he doesn't get much support from d other end, which actually puts 2 much pressure on him. Wish he had 1 decent partner at d other end who cud compliment him. @vipin.chaudhary2325...I wud also like 2 c Irfan bowling from d other end. But he has 2 increase his pace. Gary made it very clear dat it is no use having a person who bowls only 125 kmph in test matches. His verdict was clear. Its time he pulls up his sox

  • MSDonLSD on October 3, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    I think some Indians (Naren here for example!) do not realize Zaheer Khans worth in the Indian team and that is just plain ignorant! India's climb to the number one test position is owed just as much to Zaheer as much it is to our renowned batting line up. Zak you make me proud not only with your skills but with your attitude on the field as well....especially Punters he clearly deserves all the banter you throw at him....what can I say Naren...what comes around goes around!

  • fkauser on October 3, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Zaheer is any & everytime better bowler than any other in india........and even i would love to see irfan pathan in the team its only a politics which is keeping him out of the Team India .......Bring Irfan Back for test as well as oneday and t-20

  • natmastak_so-called on October 3, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    @ naren .. Zak has achieved more than punter.zak has lead the mediocre bowling attack from rank five to rank one in tests. Punter lead mediocre batting line up from rank one to rank five.learn to give credit where iit iis due.

  • on October 3, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Harbhajan has included himself in the "lot of batting to come" - LMAO, cant believe this! hahaha!

  • spinkingKK on October 3, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Australia played so poorly to limb to 428 in 5 sessions. India shouldn't worry too much and bat on. However, a result seems unlikely. I am still waiting for a day when India finally gives up its hopes on an Ishant Sharma revival. It is never going to happen unless they drop him. This guy is pampered, spoon fed and has been made a millionare. Give him a break to understand life and grow up. He will come good. Sreesanth would be able to do the job better. I am excited to see Dravid batting so positive. Looking forward to the thrid day to see him go about his business in aggressive manner.

  • saitama on October 3, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    hi,Zak is bettr thn srinath,he is a gr8 fast bowler after kapildev.his stats told..but team mates doesn't co-operate wid his bowling..irfan pathn is the better partnr to his bowling,selectors giv some chances to irfan..

  • uglyhunK on October 3, 2010, 2:11 GMT

    @KSalik - Bats can at least hear, you seem to be both deaf and blind. Pakis were bowling in wet, seamy bowler conditions in England. Just use lil brain dude....

  • 11Noobs on October 3, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    Suuupeerrrb bowling from Zak!!

  • Ramesh-IT on October 3, 2010, 1:59 GMT

    @Naren: Before India's independence, there were some Indian slaves. You seem to be one from that era. Supporting innocent Aussies for getting taste of their own medicine. this is nothing compared to what they've done in the past.

  • Meety on October 3, 2010, 1:05 GMT

    Anyway the article is about Zaheer - he was great. To bag 5 wickets was outstading - without him I honestly think the score could of been much greater by Oz. I know Sharma is not bowling well at the moment - but I think he is essential for upcoming overseas tours, particularly Sth Africa & England. I think a fit and confident Sharma @ Lords would be lethal. I remember in Oz he was bowling @ over 150km per hr, with his height he is a tough bowler to face. Perhaps he is the sort of bowler you keep in cotton wool during the home series, & then wheel out of the box for overseas tours away from the sub-continent - sort of a horses for courses policy. I don't rate India's 2nd spinner at the moment - maybe after the 2nd Innnings of Oz I may change my mind. I think India will need to at least get 450 or else they will be under the pump batting last. I can see both sides struggling to get 150 batting 2nd.

  • on October 3, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    I too no Indian fan but an australian ....Ponting dont be too disappointed ur team under your leadership has done no better. So let it not disturb u too much. Like the other comments, I'd love to see ISharma gets a break and come to some real speed in everything; he has potential, hey where are they. Pathan brothers need to be welcome back in the Indian betting lineup.

  • Meety on October 3, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Typical that when an Indian cricketer stuffs up - Indian fans bleat on about things in the past. Oz cricketers are perpetually tagged as sledgers yet Harbhajan (& Ganguly before him) were & are the most ill-disciplined cricketers to have played the game (thats a fact). Yes you can be parochial, but please enough of playing the victim even when you are wrong - Zaheer was wrong to do what he did, & honestly I wouldn't trust a single thing that Harbajan says - he truly makes the rest of the cricketing world think less of Indians - full stop. In saying that Zaheer & a fit (well behaved) H Singh make up 2 out 4 spots of potentially a very good attack. The role of 2nd spinner post Kumble does not seem to have been fixed. I am personally a big fan of the talent that is within Ishant - when he first toured Oz I thought I was watching an Indian Ambrose (minus the temper). If someone could unlock what he definately as in him - India would beecome UNDISPUTABLE #1.

  • Aussasinator on October 3, 2010, 0:34 GMT

    Zak is a champion bowler and the only match winner in the current line up. But I get the feel we may have seen the last of Ishant Sharma. He's a typical burn out case, with an overdose of all forms of cricket and money. He needs a six month rest to sort out matters once and for all. Without a bench of about 4 quick bowlers ( of around 140kph speeds), I dont see India holding on to their No.1 tag for too long. This bowling is not it.

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 2, 2010, 23:53 GMT

    I have thought for a long time Zaheer was real quality.

  • Gman363 on October 2, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    PS. Note to Harbajhan Singh - 'greats' don't average 32 with the ball. Zaheer is at best Paul Reiffel or Max Walker - NOT Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall or Glen McGrath (TRUE GREATS)>

  • Gman363 on October 2, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    Anton Chigurh was cool, Zaheer is a never-was who believes sledging (even after he DIDN'T take the wicket) is the way to be a good cricketer. That's not cool. The Indian side - as prima donnas full of their own self importance - believe they can do no wrong, yet cry like new born babies when the table are reversed, and someone says something to them. They whined and whinged and complained for years about the 'big bad Aussies', well now the Indian cricket team are the worlds leading hypocrites when it comes to acceptable behaviour on the field. Fact is they believe they are exempt from the rules, and the Indian-loaded ICC reinforces this arrogance by allowing them get away with it - in Australia we still remember the racism of Harbajhan and 'Monkey-gate'. Painful as that is for Indian fans to accept, the smell of hypocrisy is more pungent than a Chennai Vindaloo.

  • on October 2, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    Guys, sledging is 'fun' I love it, and if the players dont mind, then y shud we??? After all it was a gmae between 2 BIG rivals... And yes, Zaheer needs support!!! I reckon get Irfan BACK...and y do fielders mostly drop catches off his bowling???

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on October 2, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    @vipin.chaudhary2325. Do yourself a favor. Go to stats guru and filter out Ifran Pathan's record when u EXCLUDE Zim and Bangladesh. You will get a rude, rude surprise. Do it and then come back and report.

  • Sach_is_Life on October 2, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    @Naren..keep licking those aussie boots...but 4 god sake dont expect everybody else to do the same..:x

  • ElectronSmoke on October 2, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    OK, first the bad - no matter how good a bowler Zaheer is, there was no justification for him passing a comment only after Ponting got out - he had played well, and if he had guts to sledge - he should have done while he was still not out. This should have nothing to do with their respective records.Also, lets leave the perception that Aussies are only ones who sledge - its 10 years old concept now and we give back just as much! NOW, the good - all this would have looked silly ( just like the "Jellybeans" thing Zaheer himself was at the receiving end of) if he hadn't taken the wickets and backed up with on-field performance. His controlled aggression is definitely an asset, if only the catches had been held on time it'd have looked a different game.

  • dissapointed on October 2, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    A quick note to KSalik. When a pitch has so much seam then any bowler is a handful., the game you mentioned Ponting admitted he made the wrong decision to bat first. I'm no fan of India and don't think much about their bowling in general but Zaheer did a great job on a pitch that gave hardly anything to the bowlers.... the scoring rate shows this. India won't become a true number 1 side until they have one true fast bowler, hitting the pitch at +145 k or more, consistently. Pakistan will never be a formidable opponent unless they get discipline in their batting and fielding. Cricket isn't batting, it isn't bowling, it isn't fielding, it all 3 and something you sub-continent boys need to wake up and learn.

  • on October 2, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    ZAK is really a great bowler india had ever produce....but guys he need a company especially in test .I would love to see him at no 1 position in the future.by the way ricky ponting deserve what ZAHEER has cooment on him....GO ZAK GO we r with u

  • insightfulcricketer on October 2, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    Zak has definitely come of age . He has matured like a fine old wine. Some of the recent victories can be attributed to his crucial strikes. Ponting incident is nothing given who the opponent is. I had seen the TV feeds of the 1986 Tied test ,1980-81 series and the last 2008 series and can attest to the boorish behavior of Australians towards some of the veterans of Indian cricket. This is explained by them as their way to psyche themselves up for better performance. Well the shoe just changed the other way. Passing snide remarks at a departing batsman has long been an Australian trait and they just got paid back on the same coin. Nothing more than that. This Indian team performed against English,SA and SL at home without incident .

  • on October 2, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    @ Naren : at your comment 'Indians get off with stories'..let me point you to two such stories..difference being they were australians : 1) match fixing allegations against the great Shane Warne and Mark Waugh 2) Sydney test...and the behavior of ur so called acheiver "PUNTER" .... there are many more

  • KSalik on October 2, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    i think indian bowlers should learn from pakistan bowlers how to get aussies get consistently bowl out under 300......still indias pace attack still way way behind pakistans pace attack...australian batsmen were really tested in their series against pak in england...specialy the class player like ponting also struggled against pak pace attack....at the time of run out he was clearly disappointed because he knew he was well set to score a big innings against a weak bowling line up

  • on October 2, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    @ Naren : What was that for ?????? "u said Zak has not achieved 1/100 th of what Punter has achieved and so bla bla bla..."..am sking..so what ? does that mean Zak hat to polite to the usually arrogant Ponting ??? make some sense..MATE.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on October 2, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Zaheer Khan has been carrying the Ind bowling line up almost on his own and it is no wonder he's often injured. He's been good and showed he is just as, if not more valuable than any other in the Ind line up bar Sehwag.

  • vipin.chaudhary2325 on October 2, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    i would like to see Irfan pathan making a pair with zaheer khan for 2-3 years.... Ishant sharma is having 76 wickets from 27 matches.. how many matches did he want to complete his 100 test wickets.... He has got talent, but we want to see his talent on ground, not on paper, don't know how he see the ball when he deliver the balll coz his hairs r so long, cut them short u thin man.... Irfan pathan have 100 wickets from 29 matches, better den Ishant, Sreesanth or any other bowler.... Plus he have got 1000 test runs with 30+ average and he a good fielder as well.... and we can test him in one or two test either by removing Ishant, or playing Irfan as an allrounder ahead of suresh raina....

  • on October 2, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Well said Harbhajan. It was truely remarkable performance from Zaheer Khan. He has been one of the best fast bowlers in current era. He has done a huge contribution for India to reach at the No 1 position. If those catches were not dropped, situation would have been better from Indian prospective.

  • on October 2, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    Goddd...how badly we need this guy..india dont have a single bowler any where close to him..hope he continues ..hope india finds a talented pacer like him...

  • His_Xlnc on October 2, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    Zaheer has done a great job for India, I wish there was someone to support him from the other end. Why does India not look to Balaji, Mithun or countless other fast bowlers or medium pacers playing in the domestic circuit.

  • robinn3 on October 2, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    ind need support , for Zk , the spinners arnt doin there job, they r too defensive... if ind wants to maintain there numero uno status , need to find another strike bowler asap ...

  • Sach_is_Life on October 2, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Zak is on fire these days..his figures won't suggest how well he is bowling these days..when he was bowling... u always feels like wicket is around the corner ...and he is phenomenal with old ball and devastating with new ball especially for lefties...he is certainly better than Srinath ..and certainly deserves a place in All time India XI..Way 2 Go Zak..!!

  • Naren on October 2, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    Zaheer hasn't achieved even 1/100th of what Ricky has achieved. His behavior is terrible. I think Indians of late get off with some stories. Like Harbhajan saying that he only said Maa ki and not Monkey. Today Harbhajan again saying that Zaheer was only talking to laxman and not Ponting. See the video footage and you will know who he was talking to. First they make mistakes and come up with a story to coverup. I don't think these people will grow up and mature. Money is making these half cooked cricketers cocky. IPL had made them arrogant. Indians were under the mercy of Ponting and Watson. Zaheer was making a big deal as though he got him out.

  • on October 2, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Zaheer Is The Great Bowler , He Will Be The Feature Of India For The Current & The Upcoming Series's Upto World Cup If His Body Co-Operate With Him.....!

  • Kris_The_Leo on October 2, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    So true that Zaheer has really come of age in his second Avataar and desperately needs a good supporting fast bowler to get more victories for India, home and especially abroad! It is a shame that the likes of Ishant, RP, Sreesanth, Munaf and even Irfan are either not fit enough to play or are out of form and not good enough to be selected right now. They all have what it takes to be a decent bowler at international stage and have proved in the past. Wonder if it all comes down to work ethics for all these guys. Big shame for our country with all the resources in the world, we cannot provide two decent bowlers at a time to be able to play consistently and allow India the ability to pick 20 wickets on any surfaces, any condition, any country!!

  • Winfried on October 2, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Go Zaki! Zaki is the best.

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  • Winfried on October 2, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Go Zaki! Zaki is the best.

  • Kris_The_Leo on October 2, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    So true that Zaheer has really come of age in his second Avataar and desperately needs a good supporting fast bowler to get more victories for India, home and especially abroad! It is a shame that the likes of Ishant, RP, Sreesanth, Munaf and even Irfan are either not fit enough to play or are out of form and not good enough to be selected right now. They all have what it takes to be a decent bowler at international stage and have proved in the past. Wonder if it all comes down to work ethics for all these guys. Big shame for our country with all the resources in the world, we cannot provide two decent bowlers at a time to be able to play consistently and allow India the ability to pick 20 wickets on any surfaces, any condition, any country!!

  • on October 2, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Zaheer Is The Great Bowler , He Will Be The Feature Of India For The Current & The Upcoming Series's Upto World Cup If His Body Co-Operate With Him.....!

  • Naren on October 2, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    Zaheer hasn't achieved even 1/100th of what Ricky has achieved. His behavior is terrible. I think Indians of late get off with some stories. Like Harbhajan saying that he only said Maa ki and not Monkey. Today Harbhajan again saying that Zaheer was only talking to laxman and not Ponting. See the video footage and you will know who he was talking to. First they make mistakes and come up with a story to coverup. I don't think these people will grow up and mature. Money is making these half cooked cricketers cocky. IPL had made them arrogant. Indians were under the mercy of Ponting and Watson. Zaheer was making a big deal as though he got him out.

  • Sach_is_Life on October 2, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Zak is on fire these days..his figures won't suggest how well he is bowling these days..when he was bowling... u always feels like wicket is around the corner ...and he is phenomenal with old ball and devastating with new ball especially for lefties...he is certainly better than Srinath ..and certainly deserves a place in All time India XI..Way 2 Go Zak..!!

  • robinn3 on October 2, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    ind need support , for Zk , the spinners arnt doin there job, they r too defensive... if ind wants to maintain there numero uno status , need to find another strike bowler asap ...

  • His_Xlnc on October 2, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    Zaheer has done a great job for India, I wish there was someone to support him from the other end. Why does India not look to Balaji, Mithun or countless other fast bowlers or medium pacers playing in the domestic circuit.

  • on October 2, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    Goddd...how badly we need this guy..india dont have a single bowler any where close to him..hope he continues ..hope india finds a talented pacer like him...

  • on October 2, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Well said Harbhajan. It was truely remarkable performance from Zaheer Khan. He has been one of the best fast bowlers in current era. He has done a huge contribution for India to reach at the No 1 position. If those catches were not dropped, situation would have been better from Indian prospective.

  • vipin.chaudhary2325 on October 2, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    i would like to see Irfan pathan making a pair with zaheer khan for 2-3 years.... Ishant sharma is having 76 wickets from 27 matches.. how many matches did he want to complete his 100 test wickets.... He has got talent, but we want to see his talent on ground, not on paper, don't know how he see the ball when he deliver the balll coz his hairs r so long, cut them short u thin man.... Irfan pathan have 100 wickets from 29 matches, better den Ishant, Sreesanth or any other bowler.... Plus he have got 1000 test runs with 30+ average and he a good fielder as well.... and we can test him in one or two test either by removing Ishant, or playing Irfan as an allrounder ahead of suresh raina....