| Zaheer Khan and teammates celebrate the fall of a West Indies wicket at the Wankhede on Friday. (AFP)
Mumbai, Oct.11: Fourteen months ago, on returning from South Africa, Zaheer Khan wasn’t found good enough for the home series against England. Today, the left-armer, who idolises Dennis Lillee, has emerged strike bowler No.1.
Indeed, Tinu Yohannan and Iqbal Siddiqui, who were preferred to Zaheer, have all but been forgotten.
Successful in the West Indies and England, and in both versions of the game, Zaheer is currently at his best. However, instead of trying to take all the credit on his own shoulders, Zaheer feels the team’s physical trainer, South African Adrian le Roux, deserves a huge chunk.
The trainer has been around from the tour to the West Indies, in early April.
“I’ve got fitter and I've got stronger... Obviously, that has helped me hit the right rhythm. Therefore, much of the credit must go to Adrian,” Zaheer insisted, during an interaction at the Wankhede Friday. Incidentally, Zaheer’s four for 41 in the West Indies’ first innings is his career-best effort.
Asked if he was disappointed he hasn’t yet registered a five-wicket haul (in 21 Tests), Zaheer smiled and responded: “Of course, yes. However, given the way I’m bowling, I should get there sooner rather than later.”
Confidence certainly isn’t at a premium. Moreover, as Zaheer told The Telegraph, he is “enjoying” himself. As he put it: “I’m conscious of responsibilities and, frankly, am not getting weighed down. Rather, I’m enjoying this phase of my career.”
Zaheer, by the way, has just completed two years in the Big League. From little-known Srirampur to Nairobi to... Zaheer is on his way to much bigger things.