India v Australia, 6th ODI, Nagpur October 13, 2007

Having three left-armers is good: Zaheer

Cricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan doesn't feel India's left-arm-reliant pace attack is one-dimensional © AFP

The Indian team is having some trouble implementing a rotation policy when it comes to resting players but they've certainly managed to stick to it when it comes to fronting pre-match press conferences. Each time a different cricketer has come to the customary pre-match press conferences and it was Zaheer Khan's turn in Nagpur. To his credit, he managed to keep his sense of humour despite being at the receiving end of some serious punishment in a tough series.

When asked how India planned to stop Andrew Symonds, Zaheer said, "first we'll have to tackle the Aussie openers." But on a more serious note, he believed that putting Australia under pressure was the key to doing well. "We have to put them under pressure, that's the key. We did that in Chandigarh and got the result in our favour and there is no reason why we can't do it here tomorrow."

Spearheading a pace attack that includes two other left-armers in RP Singh and Irfan Pathan, Zaheer did not believe that it was a bit one-dimensional. "Even if we all are left-arm bowlers, you can't say our style of bowling is the same. We do have our variations. All over the world in one-day cricket, the importance of left-arm bowlers has increased. We have three and it's a very good sign."

Zaheer believed that the Indian bowling was doing well, given the tough conditions for fast bowlers in the subcontinent. "On the whole as a bowling unit we have been doing well and that's the general feedback I have been getting in the team meetings and we are maintaining that," he said. "We are playing in the subcontinent and wickets are not going to be that helpful to fast bowlers. You have sort of a fair idea that it's very important to win the toss; that becomes very crucial. It is different playing in the subcontinent compared to abroad. So keeping all this in mind, I think we are competing well."

Despite losing heavily in the last match in Vadodara, Zaheer murmured the truism that "each match was a new one". "We are looking very positive, putting in all our efforts in our net practices and we are gelling well as a team. Obviously we all knew it's going to be a tough series and we are responding well to it. The main thing is to be positive, go out in the field and give your 100%, your best, and just see in the evening how you have gone in the match. That's how you go about it."