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Hope Ishant can still contribute - Zaheer

Amol Karhadkar

July 30, 2014

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Zaheer Khan talks to Ishant Sharma, India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 4th day, October 4, 2010
Zaheer Khan: "It is always frustrating when you get injury of that magnitude when the team needs you most" © AFP
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Zaheer Khan has said Ishant Sharma's injury before the Southampton Test would have been "frustrating" for the bowler but he hoped Ishant is fit and back at his best for the fourth Test of the series against England, starting next week.

"I hope it (Ishant's injury) is not serious and he still can contribute in the series. These things keep happening and it is nothing that he did wrong but it just happened, so he has to deal with it," Zaheer said on the sidelines of a function to launch ProSport, his venture to help professional athletes manage fitness. "I hope the matter is not that serious. It also depends on what kind of injury you are going through. Some injuries you can play with but some injuries you have no option but to sit out."

Recently, Zaheer had said he expected Ishant to step up his performance and lead an otherwise inexperienced pace attack. Zaheer was delighted with his protégé's match-winning seven-wicket haul that gave India its first victory at Lord's in 28 years and put them ahead in the series. At the same time, Zaheer admitted Ishant's injury, described as "soreness" in his leg, would have hurt as the bowler was in top form.

"He is the man in form. He has had a brilliant last Test match. He has been on top of his game and it is always frustrating when you get injury of that magnitude when the team needs you most. It is frustrating but as an athlete, you have to take things in your stride and do the right things," he said.

Zaheer's 14-year-long international career has been plagued with various injury breakdowns. The latest of it, suffered during the 2014 IPL, sidelined him from India's tour to England. However, Zaheer said he hasn't yet hung up his boots and hopes to resume bowling in the nets in August.

It was his injury-prone career, aided by several rehabilitation programmes aided by experts, that has inspired Zaheer to start ProSport.

"It is something linked to my cricket as well. I have spent enough time in terms of fitness and injury management which is crucial for any fast bowler, or any athlete for that matter. The thought of ProSport has been there for a long time," Zaheer said.

Zaheer has roped in physiotherapist Andrew Leipus and strength and conditioning expert Adrian Le Roux in his bid to provide the best of fitness and injury management facilities in Mumbai. The duo of Leipus and Le Roux is credited with changing the fitness regime of Indian cricketers during their long association with the national team. Both of them continue to work with numerous India cricketers.

"Every time you get injured you end up going abroad for expert advice or for expert help. Just recently, I went abroad for my fitness regime and I thought if I can get the experts here, I can give people that kind of access which will help a lot of guys understand and educate them and guide them on what sport-specific fitness can offer," he said.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by CricketChat on (July 31, 2014, 3:39 GMT)

Zaheer and fitness in the same sentence? Rather surprising! It's exactly for lack of fitness that ZK's career went through so many starts and stops. Ishant was not in form up until he got those wkts. I thought Eng batsmen just didn't expect Indian medium pacers to bounce at them and when they did they probably were in too much in shock that they didn't know what to do! Obviously, they rectified that mistake in current test. The results are there for all to see.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 30, 2014, 14:23 GMT)

Looks like another 7 years before Inshant takes another 5 for.

Posted by wapuser on (July 30, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

Please do win this,so what inshant iz not in team we still can win game

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