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Zaheer eager to regain India spot

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 19, 2013

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Zaheer Khan stretched during practice, Ahmedabad, November 12, 2012
'I'm definitely feeling much better but I know I've still got a long way to go' - Zaheer Khan © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Zaheer Khan
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: India

Zaheer Khan, the India fast bowler, has said he is eager to reclaim his spot in the Indian team and that he will utilise the time after the IPL to work on his fitness and form. Zaheer was out of action for four-and-a-half months before playing two matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this week.

"I'm definitely feeling much better but I know I've still got a long way to go," Zaheer told the IPL website. "Post IPL I have to put in some serious work into my fitness and form to reclaim my place in the Indian team. That's what's on my mind right now - I want to use that period after the IPL to get stronger, fitter and improve in all the areas."

India will play the Champions Trophy after the IPL but Zaheer was not included in the squad of 15 for the tournament. Before the IPL, he last played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy last December in a league game against Gujarat but sustained a calf injury which forced him out of the knockout stages and the Irani Cup.

"I was itching to get back on the field but I always take my time to come back whenever I am injured," Zaheer said. "This time too, I could have played a couple of matches earlier but it's always good to be a game late than coming back too early. That was the thinking between the trainer, physio and me."

On grounds of form and fitness, he had been dropped during the home Test series against England late last year and for the ODIs against Pakistan.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

he is fighter..he will come back stongly..thats for sure..

Posted by GRVJPR on (May 21, 2013, 7:11 GMT)

He has to work really hard. We don't need bowler who pulls up his hamstring boling after 4 overs. Was such an Insult to India when it happened on England tour. Sorry mate! You are far away from international fitness and as you have pointed out yourself "Long way to go".

Posted by hotcric01 on (May 21, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

He is still the best indian fast bowler by far.He still has some years in international cricket and he is miles better than inconsistent young indian fast bowlers like Umesh,Ishant,Dinda,Vinay...Bhuvi hasn't been tested in overseas conditions.These kids should play under guidance of Zaheer another few years till they get matured.Zaheer should be in the side at least in Test and ODI formats.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

I really do not know whether the Team Management will think to reverse their decisions. They started to look future in their mind while selecting the team, therefore players like Zaheer, Harbhajan, Sehwag, Gambhir, etc. will be finding it very hard to come back to the Team. The team management will try to nurture the young talents abundantly available now in India and try to building the team from there. Indians will be extremely thankful for the contribution Zaheer has made to the Indian Cricket Team and we wish him all the best.

Posted by kingkarthik on (May 21, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

He is a spent force just like Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Harbajan Singh and soon Irfan Pathan. Thank you, but India need to move on from a toothless leader to at least a decent new ball bowler. Take care and see you in the IPL.

Posted by Shan156 on (May 20, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

@tony_joe, your post is late only by 2-3 years. Zaheer Khan is almost 35. So, it may be hard for him to make a come back and if he does, that would mean India's young pacement are very poor. Zaheer is a good bowler but I wouldn't rank him alongside Kapil Dev. Agree with everything else you say though.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

he has already done so much for country . It time for him to retire from International cricket gracefully or he can keep playing IPL or coach youngsters..

Posted by chapathishot on (May 20, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

The guy has worked hard on his fitness which shows also.Hopefully he will be there in SA

Posted by JustIPL on (May 20, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

Really strange that now he wants to come back yet again. Even the great fast bowlers of their time like Brett Lee could not enjoy the come back so how could Zaheer. It is really unprofessional attitude. Again just basing on few IPL performances.

Posted by pinn on (May 20, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

Zak has another couple years left in him, should be on the track soon. Guys like Umesh , Awana and Mohit should be given fair amount of chance on the long run. Fitness is more of a issue due to heavy workload, may be a rotating policy be in place to make sure no one is drained.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

Zak, we are just waiting for you to gain peak fitness and be raring to go, with the Champions Trophy and tri-nation Series in the Windies teams already selected, you please target the comeback for the SA test series, it would be great the have a bowling attack of you, Bhuvneshwar and Umesh Yadav,and Ravi Jadeja( I feel he will be more successful in unresponsive pitches than Ashwin) we can play seven batsmen then. Your mere presence in the team will be a big guide to all the fellow pacers there. You have played 88 tests and we have to play 10 more in SA, NZ and England from November 2013 to August 2014, so if you can play all you will be very close to 100 tests, so please aim for SA series.

Posted by Pathiyal on (May 20, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Zak - arguably the best medium pacer India have ever produced should be back in the team. to our dismay he was having a career haunted by injuries. hopefully he will be back ASAP.

Posted by Naresh28 on (May 20, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

JUST a few words of thanks for a great bowler who helped India get to NO1 in tests and ODI not so long ago. Fans and Indian cricket seems to forget this. He may not get back to full fitness cause his jump/leap style of bowling has taken its toil, but BCCI should not forget this. Pace bowlers like this need insurance as their bodies take a beating.

Posted by Surajrises on (May 20, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

Well Zak did look fit while playing against the CSK but still wasn't steaming in which says he is still a long long away from getting back into full fitness. He is wanting to travel to West Indies for the Tri Nation series in June is what I think but that won't happen...

Posted by praneethtz on (May 20, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

instead of playing for india ..bcci shld luk into using his services as a bwling coach for India as ther is no one who can understand an indian young fast bowler than zaheer ..u appoint an aus and sa bt their fitness and strengths r diff and indian bowlers r diff...zaheer would be the best man to train young pacers ....

Posted by getgopi on (May 20, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

I agree with one of the other posters here. If he doesn't bring his fielding up, he is asking to be re-injured. When you are supremely fit, you won't hesitate to throw yourself around. Just look at Brett Lee.

Incidentally, of his four wickets, the only wicket he didn't celebrate was that of Dhoni's :)

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 0:49 GMT)

Fast bowling in India has always been a joke except for rare talents like Manoj Prabhakar and Kapil Dev. But I wonder even how they would perform under present conditions. The think tank should just look too work on the fitness's of Bhuvnesh, Praveen and Mohit. I think these are the guys who could help India in the next world cup.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 0:40 GMT)

He's definitely good enough to come back, which will not be good news for other teams

Posted by thebrownie on (May 19, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

Why do they always wait to be dropped to work on the fitness?

Posted by Cricket24 on (May 19, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

@nakul sahdev- Agree that he should be in the squad, but as a coach/mentor to the younger quicks. his experience in English conditions is invaluable

Posted by   on (May 19, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

BCCI has to see if you consistently perform Zak. If you do, then you deserve to be in the squad, and if you don't then you don't deserve to be in the squad.

Posted by sarangsrk on (May 19, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

I don't see how he can come back in ODI or T20 side with likes of Vinay Kumar considered ahead of him (unless all our "fast" bowlers are on surgical bench). His only chance could be test series in SA but then he has a history of not surviving a full test series outside India. Outside India, you can't bowl reverse swing and slower/cutters. I don't Zaheer Khan has pace anymore to threaten quality batsmen.So, for me, Zaheer Khan has already played his last match for India.

Posted by Rashgul on (May 19, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

Brilliant bowler in all conditions at his peak. But, ever since the World cup, he has looked about 20 stones and he doesn't seem to be shedding that weight. Until he becomes a bit more leaner, he will struggle.

Posted by vasanth6868 on (May 19, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

Good byeee , Zaheer..! 4 wickets in 2 overs against Chennai Super Kings in a 8/8 over match isn`t enough for you to harbour thoughts of making a comeback.Thanks for everything and bye.

Posted by Planetindia on (May 19, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Zaheer is good but he is already 34 and For the next world Cup, I wish India try different young Bowler then Zaheer. India always get one spinner in the Team and that leaves only three spot for Fast Bowler. Yadav and B.kumar will take two spot and the last Spot need to go with the Young bowler rather then Old Zaheer khan.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

well well... first learn to field well ... then we will think

Posted by cricfandu on (May 19, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

Good Thinking Zaheer. We all indian wish to see in blue/white colour.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

Team india Definetely missing zaks in ct squad.

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