April 23, 2000
At the age of 21, Zaheer Khan serves notice with a match-winning spell of 5 for 21 on the final day to seal a 21-run win for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy final
. Murmurs of an India call-up begin to do the rounds.
October 7, 2000
A speed demon for India at last
He bursts onto the international scene with a searing spell of fast bowling in a famous victory against Australia
in the ICC KnockOut tournament. His fast full toss to dismiss Steve Waugh becomes part of Indian cricket folklore and he bullies batsmen with inch-perfect yorkers to pick seven wickets in four games as India reach the final.
October 26, 2000
Yorkers from hell
He carries his form from Nairobi to Sharjah
and Zimbabwe's lower order suffers from his fury. After nipping out India's nemesis Andy Flower cheaply, Zaheer rips apart the tail with three yorkers that clatter into the stumps. The Man-of-the-Match award is a no-brainer.
November 10-13, 2000
A historic debut
His first Test is also Bangladesh's first. Zaheer picks two wickets in the first innings and one more in a curtailed spell in the second as India complete a nine-wicket win
December 8, 2000
Allrounder or slogger?
Mauls Henry Olonga for four sixes in the 50th over to lift India to 283 in Jodhpur
, but Zimbabwe still go on to win the match.
June 7-10, 2001
Cubs learning to hunt in pairs
India's win in Bulawayo
, though against a weak Zimbabwe side, is the first of many outside the subcontinent in the 2000s. The young seam duo of Zaheer and Ashish Nehra share nine wickets to set up victory.
August 22-25, 2001
A rare victory in the emerald isles
Picks seven wickets in Kandy
as India level the Test series in Sri Lanka. It is the first of several decisive spells from Zaheer on responsive wickets abroad.
March 7, 2002
The yorker goes awry
Picks four wickets to put India in control against Zimbabwe in Faridabad
before being taken to the cleaners by an innovative assault from Douglas Marillier. Zaheer betrays a tendency to lose his lengths when targeted in unconventional fashion.
July 13, 2002
The final piece in the puzzle
Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif author an astounding win in the final
of the Natwest series in England. Zaheer finishes the series as highest wicket-taker
. The emergence of the young guard and a crop of impressive fast bowlers are the final touches to an Indian team that would go almost to the very pinnacle of ODI excellence.
December 19-22, 2002
Shining in defeat
Follows up his heroics in Wellington
with an equally astounding 5 for 29 in Hamilton
, but India succumb to sorry defeats in both Tests with the batsmen unable to counter the treacherous conditions.
January 8, 2003
Respite at last in New Zealand
Scripts India's first win
of that horror tour, after seven straight losses. Picks 3 for 30 with the ball and then contributes a crucial 34 as India inches to the target of 169 after being 116 for 7.
March 14, 2003
Knocks New Zealand out of the World Cup with a spell of hostile seam and pace in Centurion
. Picks four wickets, including Craig McMillan and Nathan Astle for ducks in the opening over.
March 23, 2003
A forgettable finale
Bowls a disastrous opening over that goes for 15, including nine runs in wides and no-balls as India lose the initiative early against an almost-invincible Australian outfit in the World Cup final in Johannesburg
. Zaheer finishes the tournament with 18 wickets, fourth on the list of highest wicket-takers.
December 4-8, 2003
A statement of intent
After a lacklustre first day on tour, Zaheer rips the heart out of Australia, bundling them out for 323 from a comfortable 268 for 2 in Brisbane
. Zaheer misses most of the tour with injury, but following his first salvo India match Australia shot for shot through the series.
July 1, 2004
A slow return from injury
Has his action sorted out
at the MRF Pace Academy, in order to reduce the strain on his body and eliminate injury risks. Zaheer's comeback trail is slow and labored and it would be a while before he regains the sting that was on show in Brisbane.
October 26-29, 2004
A rare green top at home
Bowls his heart out for 4 wickets in the first innings on a fresh pitch in Nagpur
, but India's batsmen succumb in hostile conditions to lose the home Test series against Australia.
August 21, 2005
A return to form in favourable climes
Picks nine wickets in three ODIs for Asia XI against Africa XI
to bag the Man-of-the-Series award.
August 7, 2006
The beginning of a comeback
With new seamers standing up for India, Zaheer is dropped from the national team. He heads to Worcestershire
for a season of county cricket, where he regains rhythm, shape and the moniker 'Zippy zakky'.
December 15-17, 2006
Zaheer Khan, Mark II
A leaner, fitter and hungrier Zaheer bowls with zest and verve as India's seamers trounce South Africa in the first Test in Johannesburg
May 25-27, 2007
Bullying the minnows
Bullies the Bangladesh line-up in Mirpur
to pick up 5 for 34 in the first innings and set up an innings victory for India.
July 27-31, 2007
The defining performance
Zaheer sets up the second Test in Nottingham
with four wickets on the opening day to shoot England out for 198. During India's innings, Kevin Pietersen and the rest of the England fielders irk Zaheer
with their chatter, and pay the price in their second innings with Zaheer exploding once again, conjuring a five-wicket haul and a famous win.
December 26-29, 2007
Another strong start down under
The sense of déjà vu is unmistakable as Zaheer sets up India's tour of Australia just as he did four years back, with a brilliant spell on the opening day. India go down in Melbourne
despite his four-for and Zaheer returns home with injury after the Test, but the tone is set for another well-contested series.
May 19, 2008
A fitting honour
His performances in England earn him the coveted Wisden Cricketer of the Year award
for 2008. A proud Zaheer says it is a true reflection of his efforts through the year.
October 9-13, 2008
Dominating the champions
Picks up five wickets in the first innings against Australia in Bangalore
, including Matthew Hayden for a first-over duck. It's an upper-hand that continues through the series, hastening the latter's retirement. The match is drawn but India go on to dominate the series and win 2-0.
April 3-7, 2009
Punishing the Kiwis
Bosses New Zealand in the third Test in Wellington
, with five wickets in the first innings followed by two more in the second. An over-conservative declaration from MS Dhoni lets New Zealand hang on for the draw, but India take the series having won the previous Test.
January 24-27, 2010
A ten-wicket haul at last
Humbles Bangladesh in Mirpur
, picking up three wickets in the first innings and seven in the second as the hosts succumb from 290 for 3 to 312 all out against his reverse swing.
July 10, 2010
Another frustrating injury
Zaheer heads to South Africa
for rehabilitation following the Asia Cup victory where he sustained a shoulder injury. His frequent absence in the second half of his career has a huge impact on India's pace attack which misses his presence as spearhead and mentor of the pack in equal measure.