Zaheer Khan likely to be fit for Australia tour: VVS Laxman

Zaheer Khan is expected to be picked for Australia, subject to him proving his match fitness Getty Images

Mumbai: Nov 21, 2011

Zaheer Khan has made good progress towards regaining fitness, according to stylish Indian middle-order batsman VVS Laxman and chances are that the paceman will be able to bowl when India tour Australia next month.

Zaheer, who underwent an ankle surgery after breaking down in England, was seen at the Indian team’s nets here on Sunday, bowling to his team-mates.

“I think he has made brilliant progress. I was talking with the physio who has been saying he’s probably one week to ten days ahead of where he should be. So I think Zaheer has been really working hard,” said Laxman.

“He’s lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw him in England. It’s a good sign,” he added.

Zaheer, who is not part of the Test squad against the West Indies, is expected to be picked for Australia, subject to him proving his match fitness in Ranji Trophy for Mumbai, by the national selectors when they meet here on November 26.

Laxman stressed the importance of having the left-arm pacer, a key member of the attack, when the team visits Australia next month and emphasised that his return would give India’s pace department a formidable look.

Recently Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron added sting to India’s pace attack byu doing well in opportunities they got.

“He’s very keyed up to do well in Australia. Everyone knows the importance of that series and also the importance of Zaheer being there in the side. It’s a good sign the way he bowled in the nets.

“I am very impressed with the way Umesh bowled in the last match (in Kolkata), so also Ishant. Ishant got back his rhythm especially in Kolkata. And it s also good to see the way Varun is bowling.

“It’s great to see the kind of potential available to us at the moment. Obviously when Zaheer comes back I think it will be a very formidable pace attack. It’s very exciting to see bowlers bowling at more than 140kmph. It’s always a good sign for the national side,” he added.(PTI)