India news December 3, 2011

Fitness 'on track', says Zaheer

ESPNcricinfo staff
28

Zaheer Khan, the India seamer who returned to competitive cricket this week after an ankle surgery, has said he feels fit and his recovery is ahead of schedule.

"Physically, I am feeling fine," Zaheer told Mumbai Mirror. "Bowling-wise, I need to get the rhythm going. I am feeling a bit tired after the match [Mumbai v Orissa], which is a good thing because it means I have put in the effort.

"It's looking good, everything is on track, probably a week ahead of schedule. Everyone is happy, the physios are happy and I am also happy. The next game is crucial for me. After playing it, I will see how I feel."

Zaheer was out with injury between August and November. He had injured his right hamstring on the first day of the England-India Test series this summer, following which a recurring ankle injury forced him to have surgery. He was then provisionally selected for the tour of Australia, the condition being that he prove his fitness in the Ranji Trophy.

Subsequently, he played Mumbai's match against Orissa from November 29, bowling 22 overs in the match for four wickets. "Since I haven't played a single game for four months, the main thing I was looking for was to get back in that environment, spending time on the field, as we have to in Test matches.

"In that way this was perfect, I got to bowl a spell on the first day and then I again got to bowl 16 overs. So in one-and-a-half day I managed to bowl 22 overs, which is an exact simulation of a Test match."

Zaheer will play Mumbai's next game, against Saurashtra from December 6. Some of India's Test specialists are scheduled to leave early for Australia, to allow them extra time to acclimatise, but Zaheer said he had chosen to play the extra Ranji Trophy match. "I would prefer to play a match. That is what I have conveyed [to the BCCI]."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 6, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    its gud dat zak is eager 2 play cricket! most of d bowlers wiont do dat especially coming out of d injury!! d Australia series is very crucial n u hav 2 get dat momentum n continue ur bowling!!!! my best wishes 2 all d indain players!!!!!! Beat dat bloody Aussies!

  • hhillbumper on December 4, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    over rated bowler who was lucky he got injured in Summer as he would have been pasted everywhere.

  • East_West on December 4, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    yes ZAk, you are on track ...back to CRACKS! have you seen him recently, he will be on sideline within no time! yes, he is a great bowler, but he never keeps himself fit - this is the story of every indian [new\ medium-fast pace bowlers!! all of these guys [including ZAk and Venkatesh Prasad] should ask KAPIL PAAJI, how he maintained his fitness!! Zak is no good when he is on TRACK! you are either FIT or no FIT! please don't fake it!!! else we will be like that ENgland tour again!!!

  • nlight on December 4, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Realistically, a man of his age is unlikely to stay injury-free for a complete series. Good fast bowling is one of the keys to success in Oz and whereas Australia has recently unleashed 2 very good looking prospects, India's newcomers in the field are relatively unimpressive.

    It's not all doom and gloom for India - they do have a wealth of batting talent and in Ashwin and Ojha, 2 of the best current spinners.

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Zak is fit to play love to see him in action on 26 without him our bowling seems out of order in foreing tours , new comers have not such xperiance to hand aussis after all "zak is sachin of our bowling department"

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    He is the best pace bowler india has ever produced.I know ppl might say a kapil dev or a Srinath but i dont think anyone has been that effective in indian pitches as zaheer has been especially from 2006-2010 onwards.We won in england 2007 mainly due to zaheers 18 wickets and also in south africa we won the durban match primarly due to him.In indian conditions as well he has been sublime which is considered to be a graveyard for pacers.I would say Srinath does come close to him but srinath promised a lot but delivered little when it mattered.zaheer did win us the world cup as well with 21 wickets i guess most of us just remember the batsmen who won us.SO i would say fitness apart he has been our best pacer and the best match winning bowler post Anil Kumble

  • Ahsan_Shere on December 4, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Indian top five batsmen & WK is quite obvious but the bowling & No. 6 spot is open for many guys thus they could make it to the playing XI. If Zaheer plays then he'll be the obvious choice, with him will be Ishant, remaining are two bowling spots & a no. 6 spot...my opinion is Rohit should be selected as a no.6 batsman, one plus point for Virat is, he can bowl medium pacers which would be helpful in Aussie conditions, but don't select other than these two i.e. Suresh, Ajinkya Rehane or Robin Uthapa. Now one very important thing is to select a spinner or not in Australia, I think a spinner should be played in every Test other than WACA & Pragyan Ojha is the best man for this job as I watched Daniel Vettori getting drift, as their is not much turn at spinners' disposal so Pragyan must be preferred over leggies & offies. Third fast bowler could be Varon Aaron or Umesh Yadav; both are fast, quick & hit the deck around off-stump with some velocity.

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    "Thunder Down Under" just round the corner!!

    Can't wait for The most electric duel of the millennium, of the Mighty and the Brave!!

    We have to start the tour on a positive note like the '03 rearguard-counterattacking beginning where we managed to get our best and the indomitable act in Oz-land together, in a series which we arguably but most probably should hav won!!

    We dropped to the double-blooper start last time, under atrocious circumstances, before coming back to break the Bloody Baggy-Green back at their own fort showing utmost skill and resilience, then going on to register a thumping CB series bash, under new leadership and with a new force but eventually led by the old warrior, The Master!!

    This time the best move will be to bring back Pathan, in tremendous form, and use him at No.7 sometime and more imp hav a good go at the practice matches, hopefully doing something more than a mere exhibition of These-are-the-areas-where-we-can-go-wrong-but-won't-at-the-battle-arena!!

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    gain the fitness,confidence,blow the oz

  • deepak_sholapurkar on December 4, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    As he felt fit after 22 overs in Ranaji(With shorter runup!!), he will be fit for 22 overs in Australia

  • on December 6, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    its gud dat zak is eager 2 play cricket! most of d bowlers wiont do dat especially coming out of d injury!! d Australia series is very crucial n u hav 2 get dat momentum n continue ur bowling!!!! my best wishes 2 all d indain players!!!!!! Beat dat bloody Aussies!

  • hhillbumper on December 4, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    over rated bowler who was lucky he got injured in Summer as he would have been pasted everywhere.

  • East_West on December 4, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    yes ZAk, you are on track ...back to CRACKS! have you seen him recently, he will be on sideline within no time! yes, he is a great bowler, but he never keeps himself fit - this is the story of every indian [new\ medium-fast pace bowlers!! all of these guys [including ZAk and Venkatesh Prasad] should ask KAPIL PAAJI, how he maintained his fitness!! Zak is no good when he is on TRACK! you are either FIT or no FIT! please don't fake it!!! else we will be like that ENgland tour again!!!

  • nlight on December 4, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Realistically, a man of his age is unlikely to stay injury-free for a complete series. Good fast bowling is one of the keys to success in Oz and whereas Australia has recently unleashed 2 very good looking prospects, India's newcomers in the field are relatively unimpressive.

    It's not all doom and gloom for India - they do have a wealth of batting talent and in Ashwin and Ojha, 2 of the best current spinners.

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Zak is fit to play love to see him in action on 26 without him our bowling seems out of order in foreing tours , new comers have not such xperiance to hand aussis after all "zak is sachin of our bowling department"

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    He is the best pace bowler india has ever produced.I know ppl might say a kapil dev or a Srinath but i dont think anyone has been that effective in indian pitches as zaheer has been especially from 2006-2010 onwards.We won in england 2007 mainly due to zaheers 18 wickets and also in south africa we won the durban match primarly due to him.In indian conditions as well he has been sublime which is considered to be a graveyard for pacers.I would say Srinath does come close to him but srinath promised a lot but delivered little when it mattered.zaheer did win us the world cup as well with 21 wickets i guess most of us just remember the batsmen who won us.SO i would say fitness apart he has been our best pacer and the best match winning bowler post Anil Kumble

  • Ahsan_Shere on December 4, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Indian top five batsmen & WK is quite obvious but the bowling & No. 6 spot is open for many guys thus they could make it to the playing XI. If Zaheer plays then he'll be the obvious choice, with him will be Ishant, remaining are two bowling spots & a no. 6 spot...my opinion is Rohit should be selected as a no.6 batsman, one plus point for Virat is, he can bowl medium pacers which would be helpful in Aussie conditions, but don't select other than these two i.e. Suresh, Ajinkya Rehane or Robin Uthapa. Now one very important thing is to select a spinner or not in Australia, I think a spinner should be played in every Test other than WACA & Pragyan Ojha is the best man for this job as I watched Daniel Vettori getting drift, as their is not much turn at spinners' disposal so Pragyan must be preferred over leggies & offies. Third fast bowler could be Varon Aaron or Umesh Yadav; both are fast, quick & hit the deck around off-stump with some velocity.

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    "Thunder Down Under" just round the corner!!

    Can't wait for The most electric duel of the millennium, of the Mighty and the Brave!!

    We have to start the tour on a positive note like the '03 rearguard-counterattacking beginning where we managed to get our best and the indomitable act in Oz-land together, in a series which we arguably but most probably should hav won!!

    We dropped to the double-blooper start last time, under atrocious circumstances, before coming back to break the Bloody Baggy-Green back at their own fort showing utmost skill and resilience, then going on to register a thumping CB series bash, under new leadership and with a new force but eventually led by the old warrior, The Master!!

    This time the best move will be to bring back Pathan, in tremendous form, and use him at No.7 sometime and more imp hav a good go at the practice matches, hopefully doing something more than a mere exhibition of These-are-the-areas-where-we-can-go-wrong-but-won't-at-the-battle-arena!!

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    gain the fitness,confidence,blow the oz

  • deepak_sholapurkar on December 4, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    As he felt fit after 22 overs in Ranaji(With shorter runup!!), he will be fit for 22 overs in Australia

  • Johnny_129 on December 4, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    It is great to see that Zak still possesses the hunger to play Tests for India. After winning the WC and sustaining injuries, Zak could have easily opted to conserve himself for the riches of the IPL. Zak, however, should not be over-eager to play for India unless he is fuly fit or he will cause more harm than good. In saying that, Zak's knowledge and experience will be tremendous for the Oz tour.

  • on December 4, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    hope he's fully fit soon!

  • on December 4, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    He just bowled 22 hours in 2 innings and says he is tired. Hope the BCCI closely monitor him before giving the green signal.

  • Vishal_07 on December 4, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    22 overs in 1 and half day seems less, but Zak is an experienced bowler and should know what he is talking about

  • Vilander on December 3, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    be fully fit enough for boxing day+4 thats all, the rest of the gang can take over from there.

  • SanjivAwesome on December 3, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    Zaheer, you've broken down in the past after "promising" that you were fit. It is best if you listen to your ageing body, stick to short form games, and keep your credibility with your fans, like me, intact. Incidentally, if it is not obvious, I don't take kindly to ageing heros intent on hanging on to their team India place for test matches - there are others waiting to take your slot. An honourable retirement perhaps?

  • NairUSA on December 3, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    if you look from Zaheer's perspective, he will need to gain as much financial stability from whatever left of his career. T20s definitely gives him that freedom. Moreover, Team India can benefit from his presence in important test matches if he could prolong his test career. Whatever be the case, he is one of the best bowler that India has produced. Managing his fitness and availability is vital till young fast bowlers are ready to take responsibilities.

  • PradeepR on December 3, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    He is done. The most he will play is for another year probably. Fitness is something that has to be developed over the years. It is very clear that he never paid any attention to it. Umesh Yadav is a very good bowler India can look forward to.

  • crikbuff on December 3, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    Zaheer bowled only 8-10 overs in each innings vs Orissa. He must bowl min 15-18 overs in a full day's play and only then he should be selected for Australia.

  • johnathonjosephs on December 3, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Poor Zaheer. Lad's getting old. His shelf life will probably last until next year and then India will have to rely on Ishant/Another youngster

  • on December 3, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    Zak is by far the best fast bowler India produced. And we are dearly missing him!!. Wish him all the best..and for all the nonsense about retiring I think its his own bloody business!! Its not a bad idea to be selective like Sachin though... we need you for long buddy :D

  • naansari on December 3, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    It will take a lot for Zaheer to prove that he is fully fit to play this test series against AUS without getting injured again. Since he is facing injuries on regular basis...wish this time he is 100% on top form!!!

  • on December 3, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    ya hopefully he is because we need him desperately need him for the big tour down under but provided he is 100 % fit but if he is not a 100% we dont need him ya i also think bcci should manage zaheer who is 32 if Australia can do it for a 18 year old we can for a 32 year old he should maybe play almost no t20 cricket( afcouse IPL is kind of compulsory but int) odi play meaningful series and for test against WI BAN ZIM HE SHOULD BE RESTED SO THAT HE IS FIT AND FRESH FOR MARQUE SERIES hereafter

  • McGorium on December 3, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    @ CandidIndian: I don't see why he should retire from T20: he only has to bowl 4 overs, every alternate day, tops, and do some running around in the outfield. He probably bowls more in practice sessions. Plus, it will earn him his livelihood, as he will retire soon (he's 33, and if you force him to choose, I think any sane person will take T20 over tests). ODIs, I can understand... he has to bowl 10 overs, and field for 50 overs, and India plays far too many pointless ODIs (like a 7 match series vs England). I suppose that if he has to, he will reduce his ODI workload as SRT has done, and save himself for tests and T20s.

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Yup, Prioritizing games is the key . Test Matches should be on the top priority .

  • cheeseburgers on December 3, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    He will bowl 5-6 overs in Aus and will again limp back as against England..better to retire in T20 and one day(since you are already a world cup winner) ZAk

  • CandidIndian on December 3, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Due to his fitness problems Zak should seriously think about taking retirement from T20 cricket ,also he should play only important series as far as ODIs are concerned , something similar to what Sachin does.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 3, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Surely, i won't be trsuting on your word buddy.......because you hardly care....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 3, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Surely, i won't be trsuting on your word buddy.......because you hardly care....

  • CandidIndian on December 3, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Due to his fitness problems Zak should seriously think about taking retirement from T20 cricket ,also he should play only important series as far as ODIs are concerned , something similar to what Sachin does.

  • cheeseburgers on December 3, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    He will bowl 5-6 overs in Aus and will again limp back as against England..better to retire in T20 and one day(since you are already a world cup winner) ZAk

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Yup, Prioritizing games is the key . Test Matches should be on the top priority .

  • McGorium on December 3, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    @ CandidIndian: I don't see why he should retire from T20: he only has to bowl 4 overs, every alternate day, tops, and do some running around in the outfield. He probably bowls more in practice sessions. Plus, it will earn him his livelihood, as he will retire soon (he's 33, and if you force him to choose, I think any sane person will take T20 over tests). ODIs, I can understand... he has to bowl 10 overs, and field for 50 overs, and India plays far too many pointless ODIs (like a 7 match series vs England). I suppose that if he has to, he will reduce his ODI workload as SRT has done, and save himself for tests and T20s.

  • on December 3, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    ya hopefully he is because we need him desperately need him for the big tour down under but provided he is 100 % fit but if he is not a 100% we dont need him ya i also think bcci should manage zaheer who is 32 if Australia can do it for a 18 year old we can for a 32 year old he should maybe play almost no t20 cricket( afcouse IPL is kind of compulsory but int) odi play meaningful series and for test against WI BAN ZIM HE SHOULD BE RESTED SO THAT HE IS FIT AND FRESH FOR MARQUE SERIES hereafter

  • naansari on December 3, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    It will take a lot for Zaheer to prove that he is fully fit to play this test series against AUS without getting injured again. Since he is facing injuries on regular basis...wish this time he is 100% on top form!!!

  • on December 3, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    Zak is by far the best fast bowler India produced. And we are dearly missing him!!. Wish him all the best..and for all the nonsense about retiring I think its his own bloody business!! Its not a bad idea to be selective like Sachin though... we need you for long buddy :D

  • johnathonjosephs on December 3, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Poor Zaheer. Lad's getting old. His shelf life will probably last until next year and then India will have to rely on Ishant/Another youngster

  • crikbuff on December 3, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    Zaheer bowled only 8-10 overs in each innings vs Orissa. He must bowl min 15-18 overs in a full day's play and only then he should be selected for Australia.