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Zaheer Khan disappointed to miss England tour, to begin rehab in August

Zaheer Khan said he was preparing from a long time for the England tour © Getty Images
Zaheer Khan said he was preparing from a long time for the England tour © Getty Images

Mumbai: Jul 29, 2014

Veteran pacer Zaheer Khan said it was disappointing to miss the England series due to the injury as he had undergone rigorous training sessions to be part of the squad.

“I am missing playing cricket. I was preparing for English tour for a long time and that was one of the reasons why I went through all those regimes before but when things happen, you don’t have any control over it,” Zaheer said at the launch of his fitness and physiotherapy services based company ProSport.

“You don’t have any control over injuries and doesn’t matter how much ever you train it is the one thing that you can’t control as a sportsman. It was frustrating but you have to take things in your stride and do the right thing,” he said.

The 35-year old had strained his left latissmus dorsi muscle during the Indian Premier League (IPL) ruling him out of the series. The left-arm seamer said he will start his second phase of rehab by bowling gradually.

“I am going to start my bowling phase of rehab in first week of August. I have not bowled at all so far so it will be hard for me to comment on that. I am working on it and let’s see how things unfold,” he said.

Zaheer, who has had a fair share of injuries said, “You can do everything right and still go on and get injured. No one knows what is coming. Most of the injuries happen when you are giving a lot of effort and something just goes an happens. You don’t really have control over it and that is the biggest thing I have learnt that you can only control the controllable.”

Zaheer said that even after covering all bases, it was frustrating to get injured. “So you can do everything right and cover all the angles and still go and get injured and in most cases that is what happens and it is most frustrating. When you get injured you always ask I did everything right, why did it have to be me. You just have to be in the present and the best thing that you can do in that particular moment,” he added.

Lanky Indian speedster Ishant was ruled out of the third Test against England due to an ankle injury and Zaheer said it was unfortunate as he was the in form bowler.

“He is the man in form. He has had a brilliant last Test match. He has been on top of his game and it is always frustrating when you get injury of that magnitude when the team needs you most. It is frustrating but as an athlete, you have to take things in your side and do the right things.

“I hope it is not serious and he still can contribute in the series. Obviously these things keep happening and it is nothing that he did wrong but it just happened, so he has to deal with it. I hope the matter is not that serious. It also depends on what kind of injury you are going through. Some injuries you can play with but some injuries you have no option but to sit out,” Zaheer said.

Asked if Ishant’s injury would weaken the already inexperienced bowling attack, Khan parried the question and said, “We as a team are doing really well. It is about the confidence of the team and confidence of the group as well.

“When you are having a good series, everything falls into place. Unfortunate things like these do happen and you don’t have control over it but important thing is that India is one up in the series and you have to look at the positives.”

Ishant’s seven wicket haul had helped India to win the second Test match and referring to his effective use of bouncers, Zaheer said, “Someone like Ishant who is 6’4 has to use a bouncer.”

With the visitors leading 1-0, the Mumbai player said India has a strong chance of winning the 5-match Test series in England after their emphatic victory at Lord’s.

“For any team to come back after 1-0 down, it is always difficult. The way the Indian team is playing, I am sure they have a bright chance of winning the series,”

He added it was a team effort which resulted in a win at Lord’s. “The last Test win was very impressive. Everyone chipped in, not only the bowlers but someone like Ajinkya Rahane’s first innings hundred was commendable. It was in a tough situation and the conditions were not easy for batting.

“[Murali] Vijay’s second innings knock was also crucial to anchor the innings. It was a team effort and everyone chipped in. Obviously Bhuvneshwar [Kumar] also was in the right length and making use of the England conditions very well and Ishant Sharma’s marathon spell in the second innings was match winning,” he said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has shone with the bat in the series with three half centuries so far under his belt and Khan said he was hopeful that the Uttar Pradesh bowler could turn into an all-rounder.

“I hope he turns into one (all-rounder). Having said that I don’t want to put any kind of pressure on him. It is all about consistency and with his bowling skill if you can add that then nothing like it. India needs one all-rounder,” he said.

England player Moeen Ali was warned by ICC for wearing wristbands in support of Gaza and Khan said it is upto an individual and there shouldn’t be restrictions.

“I think it is an individual choice. What you are wearing on your wrist or which kind of cap you are wearing, I think it is an individual call. There shouldn’t be restrictions on that,” he said.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

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