India news January 31, 2013

'By no means am I done' - Zaheer Khan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan, the India fast bowler, has said he wants to continue playing for the next three to four years but hasn't set a timeline for his return from a calf injury he sustained during the Ranji Trophy. Zaheer missed the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai as a result and will also not play the Irani Cup starting on February 6; he hasn't played for India since being dropped for the Nagpur Test against England in December.

"I want to continue for another 3-4 years," Zaheer told Mirror. "By no means am I done. I still have that hunger. I just need to sort things out and make the right calls. I know that I definitely have three-four years and I will make sure I come back and come back strong. I want to prepare fully, in terms of bowling, fielding and fitness. I want to cover all angles now and use this time really wisely in preparing."

Zaheer hasn't resumed bowling yet, but said he has been running and expects things to speed up from there as he works with Ashish Kaushik, the physio at the National Cricket Academy. Zaheer said he was keen to play both Tests and ODIs. "Test matches have been my priority but I want to be there in ODIs as well. I definitely have to work more on my fitness which I'm ready to do."

India take on Australia in a four-match Test series starting on February 22. "I don't want to jump the gun," Zaheer said when asked if playing in the series was a realistic target. "The long-term picture is on my mind. I definitely have a lot of cricket left in me. I need to figure out things."

Zaheer had a poor 2012, picking up 15 wickets in eight Tests at a strike-rate of 98 balls per wicket. "Obviously, I wasn't expecting it [being dropped]. You have to take things in your stride. At the highest level you are just as good as your last game. If you look at it that way then, whether I am rested or dropped, you got to take it as a professional and move forward. That's what I have been doing. I went and played Ranji Trophy, which is the next best thing.

"I still have plenty of things to offer. That's my faith. I have had that kind of faith in my ability and that's what drives me to try and make this comeback."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Star on February 2, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    I don't know why some people want Zaheer to focus on test matches. Watching him play test matches and domestic matches recently, it looks like he's not fit to play for 5 days. He bowls at full throttle in his first spell and then looks flat and disinterested. He is pretty poor on the field and goes off the field regularly in between the game. He doesn't have the fitness to stay on the field for long periods of the game. So, I don't think concentrating on test matches is the way forward for him.

  • sri on February 2, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge You copy paste the same comment everywhere. Zaheer did not even play one full innings in England other wise he would have finished Strauss career right after the end of the series.

  • Dummy4 on February 2, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Zak is one premier swing bowler in the world i am sure he will come back and this is good to time to be dropped so that he can work on his fielding and also full fit zak can damage many oppostion i hope he comes back before south africa tour which late December or october where India trying to make a history. India need Zak services in the future he should avoid playing IPL and T20 matches.

  • rajat on February 1, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    I am a die-hard ZAK fan and I want to see him play in 2015WC!! He was phenomenal in 20011WC but after that he has not been able to make an impact due to fitness issues. I believe he must play only in tests to make himself a lethal option for India and plan a way to come back in ODI side somewhere in 2014. Team India needs ZAK to be as effective as ever!!

  • Kuldeep on February 1, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    For God sake, just give up! You fitness level is so poor for an International fast bowler. Your best is beyond you, just accept it. I still remember how you bowled the first over in the 2003 World Cup Final, you breaking down against England in 4-0 washout and then putting up a sloppy show in Australia wash out 4-0. How much more damage do you want to inflict on Indian Cricket. You are not a good role model for the young Indian pace attack. Let's hope they don't end up like you.

  • Raj on February 1, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Nobody doubts Zaheers ability. He is the best India has produced.The issue is about his commitment. If the spearhead decides not to give his best and just about do enough it rubs off on all the other players.

  • Michael on February 1, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Easily India's best ever seamer along with Kapil. Why write him off yet? Quicks like this are like hen's teeth in India.

  • anas on February 1, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Zaheer should retrn n perfrm at peak of his form.....N should retire wen at d peak unlike oder indian stars.............

  • Alex on February 1, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    300 wickets as indian fast bowler...better worship. Most indian cricket are fools in my opinion. They do know what they have. As much sehwag won many tests , zaheer khan bowling also did help equally. Zaheer and Sehwag was weapons that launched india to number 1 not dhoni. Most people india do not know. Dhoni was impotent in 10-0 Loss that tells clear story. Dhoni is great in ODI. Best odi batsman indian ever produced. Test cricket dhoni is utter useless.