India news October 4, 2011

Zaheer's recovery slow but positive

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan, the India fast bowler, has said his recovery from ankle surgery has been slow but positive so far, and that he has not set a timeframe for his return to international cricket.

"The first phase of my rehab programme went off pretty well," Zaheer told the media after receiving India's Arjuna Award from the country's sports minister in New Delhi on Monday. "I have started with the second phase of my rehab. I will soon be going to the National Cricket Academy. My progress has been slow but positive.

"To start bowling, I have to get back the full strength in my ankle. Then I might play a few club matches or first-class matches. I am taking one day at a time and not setting any targets."

Zaheer was originally diagnosed with a hamstring injury during India's first Test against England at Lord's in July this year, but was later ruled out of the remainder of the series with a right ankle impingement that required surgery followed by a 14-16 week period of rehabilitation. When asked whether he was eyeing India's tour of Australia later this year as a target for his return, Zaheer said he was simply taking it day by day.

"I have not decided on any date but I will be back very soon. It's frustrating not to play at the highest level. But you can only control [only] the 'controllables' and be patient."

Commenting on the India team for the home one-day series against England, Zaheer said he expects the dropped Harbhajan Singh to fight his way back into the squad. "Harbhajan has produced great performances for the country. I am sure that he will be back soon, as he is too good a player to be left out. He has a lot of fire in him and he is a strong character.

India's bowling attack struggled in England without Zaheer's leadership and ability, and he said knowing how much the team needs him spurs him on to perform better. "It always acts as a motivation when your team needs you. I don't think the over-dependence on me adds to any pressure, rather it feels good to go to sleep with this kind of expectation. Hopefully, I will be back soon to play that role again."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on October 7, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Here is a pace bowling chart someone entered on internet of Indian cricket, this seems to be before Kapil Dev era:-

    I was a hard core cricket fan and would never missed a single delivery, I am watching regular cricket since 1986, and here are the mileage of the indian bowlers I notices,

    1, J Srinath - 156Kmph (99, Africa tour) 2, A Nehra - 149 Kmph (2003 World cup) 3, S Sreesanth - 149 Kmph (Kuwalmpur tri series 2006) 4, RP Singh - 147 Kmph ( Recent Aus series) 5, A Agarkar - 146 Kmph (when he made his debut around 2001-2002) 6, Z Khan - 146 Kmph ( 2003 world cup) 7, A Bhandari - 145 Kmph (2004 Aus tour-this guy was really good strong bowler with good action in his early days, but unfortunate one) 8, VRV Singh - 145 Kmph (2006 Africa tour) 9, Munaf Patel - 143 Kmph (early 2006) 10, L Balaji - 140 Kmph (2004 Pakistan tour)

  • Naresh on October 7, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    In spin dept and batting dept we have plenty of talent. Its the pace department that is never looked into. I agree with Nampally that BCCI has the sole responsibilty to invest money in this facet. They do not. I was looking at the wicket stats of Varun - not much there - he has not matured from domestic spells. Yadav looks better. Sreenath Arvind has been poor. Tyagi faded from the radar for some reason. Nehra is also injury prone but a great ODI bowler. To me it looks like two definite vacancies exist in Indian cricket team - Left and Right pace bolwers.

  • Siddarth on October 7, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Great opportunity to bring Irfan back and also to give Lakshmipathy Balaji a go. Zak should now just retire - Just go out on top. WC has been won. Nothing more left to prove. Its time for him to just move on!!!

  • allen on October 5, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    Guys, I think al ve forgoten another left-arm swing bowler from Zak's Local Team Baroda. he played a crucial part in India's famous win at perth test with scores of 28 and 46 and five wickets to claim the Man-of-the-Match award, from wer India's Test Cricket was Taken 2 Next level. His name is Irfan Khan Pathan. Watch out for him at challenger's trophy. He is the perfect fast-medium bowler who wil be more than useful wit bat. If the ball swings he is a deadly bowler to deal with. The ball he bowled to sachin 2 bold him in the recent IPL was amazing which clearly shows that he stil ve lot of ability 2 swing the ball. Indian selectors should give him a fair amount of chance 2 make him a complete all-rounder Which india desperately needs.

  • Ashok on October 5, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    @Naresh28: Sehwag & Zaheer are great Cricketers who served India very well with their outstanding contributions. But when you ask the question who will replace them, it looks as tough these guys are" immortal"!. My friend, everyone is replaceable, even the legends, never mind Sehwag & Zaheer.Remember, Not long back these 2 were dropped from the Indian side for their poor performance.They had to fight their way back.Right now there are about 4 opening batsmen in Rahane, P.Patel,Mukund, Dhawan apart from Gambhir who can do a fairly good job, with some experience, opening the innings. As for the opening bowlers Jadev, Aaron, Tyagi and Aaravind are all youngsters with good future.It is left up to the Indian Selectors to back them up thru' intensive training/coaching and physical fitness program. Gavaskar was the greatest opening bat - Nissar & Amar singh the finest pace combo.Sehwag & Tendulkar replaced Gavaskar & say Srinath & Zaheer replaced Nissar & Amar- right? So be +ve& hopeful.

  • Naresh on October 5, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    More than just having Zaks, India need Ishant as well. Other teams have good packs bowling in tandem. If only one good bowler it adds to the pressure on the good bowler. As for NUUR he should look at Zaks stats before commenting. Very few world class pace bowlers have a hop before delivery release. Zaks has this skill, only it puts more pressure on his ankles. I feel the bowling load is now catching up with Zaks. Also he is not young any more.

  • Naresh on October 5, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Question: Which batsman in India could replace Virendra Shewag? Which bowler in India could replace Zaheer Khan?

    Qualities - Hand/eye corordination, bat speed, timing, really explosive batsman Left armer bowler, great inswinger. hop before delivery,great angles,thinking bowler

  • Roo on October 5, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    @ Nampally

    Tendulkar's specialist said it would be up to 6 weeks to recover - 5 September to 17 October give or take a few days. England One Day Series - 14th to 25th October... not much time to get out and practice and get fitness levels back up to required level - 8 days for the last game... I can't wait for him to play in Adelaide 'live' and hope he gets in 100th 100 in Don Bradman's backyard. I follow Australia, but really hope Satchin and the team perform well... I expect India to bounce back from its England losses - Aus V Ind - 2/1/1

    "Zaheer's hamstring injury ended up as ankle injury?" When you have an injury in one part of your leg, loads get transferred to other regions like the achilles tendon, ankle and knee.

    Yuvraj fractured his index finger. Tim Paines expected 4 week recovery time for his fractured right index finger. 5 weeks later gets surgery in late September. All up, probably 3 to 4 months off the field...

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    @davidpk i think ure from Eng(think i have read your posts before)....cant agree more with apprehension was a 3-0 with a draw in Sydney..thnx for your respect to our batting stalwarts...unfortunately that is what Indian team is at the moment... a couple of greats and a couple of very good batsmen....i desperately wish Aus summer would be better for India but to be honest i dont see any realistic chance for that to happen..with this CL and all that crap soon after the nightmare tour to Eng...

  • Ashok on October 4, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    While the report on Zaheer's injury is finally released albeit by ZAK himself, there is no report on the other injured players.Sehwag had a shoulder injury & allowed to play in a couple of tests in England with no one establishing whether his shoulder had healed or not. Fractures take 6 weeks to heal, Yuvraj's fracture was in July - Tendulkar's toe was injured in August - why are the unfit nearly 8 weeks later?How did Zaheer's hamstring injury ended up as ankle injury? Why is Ishant Sharma allowed to postpone his ankle surgery & hoping a place for the Aussie tour.Kumar was injured playing"Fun soccer" - Ban this for the cricketers. BCCI needs to have an established Fitness check program, Cause,cure & monitoring of all contracted playei njuries + up to date medical status on all the injured players.BCCI made a profit of $39 Million for the year and if they cannot do these simple mandatory jobs, then the role of BCCI should be questioned & redefined.Lax BCCI attitude is hurting Cricket

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