India's injury woes March 12, 2008

Zaheer needs time to regain full fitness - Prasad

Cricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan could take some time to recover from his ankle injury © Getty Images

Zaheer Khan, India's left-arm fast bowler, will take time to regain full fitness according to Venkatesh Prasad, the bowling coach.

"I have been talking to him (Zaheer)," Prasad said. "As far as I am concerned, when you get a break, you have to work that much harder to get back into rhythm. He is working hard on fitness and bowling. It will take time."

Prasad also said that Anil , the Test captain, and Gary Kirsten, the newly appointed coach, will take a decision on whether Zaheer needs to be a part of the team for the first two Tests against South Africa starting March 26.

Zaheer dropped out of the team after the first Test against Australia last year with an ankle injury, and has since visited the Centre for Sports Medicine in Johannesburg for rehabilitation.

"When you are coming back after injury, you need to be slightly cautious as to how you are going to push," Prasad said. "Zaheer is working hard on his fitness and slowly raising the load factor and am sure he will be fit for the Test matches."

Prasad also confirmed that he had formally signed on as coach with IPL's Bangalore Royal Challengers and said that he had not heard from the BCCI in this regard. "I have no communication with board about this (IPL). I personally feel it should be OK."

The Indian Board had earlier told Cricinfo that they were yet to take a decision on allowing the Indian coaching staff to tie up with IPL teams, fearing a clash of interests.

Prasad was speaking to reporters along with Bangalore's IPL captain Rahul Dravid and their Chief Cricket Officer Martin Crowe hours before the Royal Challengers officially launched their team.

While Crowe said Dravid would "reignite the great skills he has got in Test cricket in Twenty20", the former India skipper said he was excited about "the chance to share a dressing room with international stars like Jacques Kallis".

"We are very conscious of the fact that they are going to come at the last minute because of international commitments," Dravid said. "It is going to require some interesting moments. We are conscious of that fact that we wanted to pick people who will believe in the concept of a team, who gel well. We had a chance to interact with some of the players we picked, and all are excited to be part of it."

Among Bangalore Royal Challengers' overseas signings are Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Cameron White and Misbah-ul-Haq.