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.”

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Deodhar Trophy, 2014-15

Nov 29, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at TBC

More

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dubai

United Arab Emirates won by 5 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 21 runs

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Photos

Hughes' death: Tributes and wishes pour in

Videos

Hughes' death: Clarke's statement on Australia' behalf

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 3

Live Cricket Score Deodhar Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone Quarter Final: Karun Nair out for 74

Live Cricket Score, Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd ODI at Colombo: England lose Moeen Ali early

Thank you, Brendon McCullum

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Australia England India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes Sri Lanka

Phillip Hughes death: Richie Benaud pays tribute

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 3

Sri Lanka vs England 2nd ODI Colombo 2014: England lose Moeen Ali early

Sri Lanka vs England 2nd ODI Colombo 2014: Ian Bell plays 150th ODI

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test, Day 3

Murali Vijay in India vs Australia Test series: Will he be an integral part?

Phillip Hughes’ unfortunate demise: Ahmed Shehzad was lucky, Phil Hughes was not

Shakib Al Hasan becomes highest wicket-taker against Zimbabwe in ODIs

Phil Hughes passes away: Cricket gradually gets off and running a day later

Khurram Khan of UAE becomes 7th oldest international captain

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Pukaar’s Rannvijay Singh will face new challenges with ‘Zen Life’

Yami Gautam Birthday: The Vicky Donor girl turns 26 (In Pics)

6 medical miracles that will blow your mind

OPEC daily basket price closes over three US dollars lower

Badlapur new poster: Varun Dhawan stuns us with his deadly rugged avatar – view pic!

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

6 must-have aromatherapy oils for your medicine cabinet

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here