Home > News >

Zaheer Khan can still contribute to Indian cricket: Wasim Akram

Zaheer Khan © Getty Images
Zaheer Khan made a comeback in South Afica Test series © Getty Images

New Delhi: Feb 20, 2014

Legendary Pakistan seamer Wasim Akram and former India bowling coach Eric Simons feels left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan still has a lot to offer to Indian cricket before he finally hangs up his boots.

After spending close to a year away from the side, Zaheer made a comeback in South Afica Test series and in the four Tests since returning, he has scalped 16 wickets including a five-wicket haul against New Zealand in the second Test.

His performance has failed to impress the likes of former captain Rahul Dravid, who felt Zaheer should ask himself some tough questions.

However, Akram feels Zaheer can guide and pass on his bowling skills to the young Indian fast bowlers in the time left before his retirement.

“It is very rare that you make a comeback having played 90 Tests. So it is just not your bowling but also your reputation at stake,” Akram told ESPNcricinfo.

“But in the time left before he finally retires, Zaheer has the opportunity to contribute a lot still. Like Imran [Khan] did with myself and Waqar [Younis], Zak can stand at mid-on and mid-off and teach other bowlers skills like reverse swing, have a word with the young fast bowlers when things are not going well.

“Talking, explaining fast bowling is an art. Just because one is a fast bowler does not always mean he can teach easily to others. So the more Zaheer talks to the others, he will learn and teach more. I used to just ask Imran ‘kya karoon, kya karoon (what should I do)’ for the first three years. And that is how I learned,” he added.

With 311 wickets in 92 Tests, Zaheer is the second most successful India seamer after Kapil Dev but his career has been plagued by injuries and Dravid said he would hate to see Zaheer end his career bowling 120-125 kph.

However, former India bowling coach Eric Simons believes speed has never really been Zaheer’s strength.

“Zaheer is not a very physical bowler. Zaheer is lot more tactical in his approach, lot more skillful in the sense he has relied more on the swinging the ball and using the variations to be successful. And he will just end up relying more and more on those skills as time goes along,” Simon said.

“If he [Zaheer] is used more to complement the other chaps, who are bowling quicker then he becomes more effective. That will naturally become his role in future. Even Richard Hadlee became very effective in such a role.”

Simons believes the best way to use Zaheer was by playing him not as a “strike” bowler but as a “skillful” bowler.

“The one thing about Zak is he is a person thrives on lots of bowling. He needs to be used in a manner that allows him to be the skillful bowler that he is; maybe not as the strike bowler,” he said.

“May be he bowls a few overs upfront with the new ball while it is swinging because he is one of the best exponents of that art and then later on in the game where he can bring to the fore the different variations he has.”

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014  at Bengaluru

Lahore Lions won by 16 runs

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Live Cricket Score Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 19: Lahore lose 4 wickets upfront

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Perth Scorchers vs Lahore Lions, CLT20 2014 Match 19 at Bangalore: Perth Scorchers’ likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Incheon Asian Games 2014 India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Perth Scorchers

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 19 at Bangalore: Umar Akmal dismissed by Brad Hogg

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 19 at Bangalore: Mitchell Marsh, Joel Paris leave Lions reeling

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 19 at Bangalore: Rain plays spoilsport

Mashrafe Mortaza replaces Mushfiqur Rahim as Bangladesh ODI captain

Waqar Younis not impressed on ICC’s timing of suspect bowling action

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Players scoring 50-plus in both innings of a Test match most number of times

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Adding olive oil to diet may repair failing hearts

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime with 5-megapixel selfie camera launched in India, priced at Rs 15,499

Asian Games 2014 Medal Table: Vikas Gowda wins 8th silver for India, India 10th in the Medal Tally

Scientists unveil novel 3D printing method

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: Vikas Gowda settles for silver medal in Men’s Discus Throw

Shah Rukh Khan shows off 8-pack abs at Google event, Salman Khan confesses he has none!

Samantha plays Good Samaritan!

Hrithik Roshan dares Salman Khan, will he accept it?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here