NEW DELHI: Injured Pace spearhead of Indian Team, Zaheer khan is recovering well after his ankle surgery but has not set any “targets” for his comeback in Indian Team. Zaheer, though he is keeping his fingers crossed for a strong return during the Australian Tour.
Zaheer was in the Capital on Monday to receive his Arjuna award from Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken. The Pacer is expected to resume his long rehabilitation process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) from Wednesday.
“I have already started training and the second phase of my rehab has started. What I need to do right now is to build some strength in the ankle. I am not rushing and I hope to come back strongly into the team. I am taking one day at a time and not setting any targets. My progress has been slow but positive.” Zaheer said while thanking the sports ministry for honoring him. “To start bowling, I have to regain full strength in my ankle. Then I might play club matches of First class games.”
The National selection Committee is hoping Zaheer will recover full fitness before the West Indies test series at home or just before the upcoming Australian series.
India’s bowling attack struggled in England without Zaheer’s leadership and ability. He admitted, missing out in England had been frustrating especially when the team was so dependent on him.
“Its frustrating not to play at highest level. But you can only control the controllable and be patient. I don’t think the over dependence on me adds to the pressure. Its feels good to go to sleep with this kind of expectation. I enjoy responsibility. ” Zaheer said.
On selection committee’s decision to axe off spinner Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer said, “Harbhajan has put in great performances for the country. I am sure he will be back soon as he is too good as a player to be left out. He has lot of fire in him and is a strong character.”
Zaheer also backed India’s new crop of rookie pacer to deliver in his absence. “I haven’t seen a lot of them due to my International Commitments but I have seen some talented pacers in IPL. I have worked with Umesh Yadav when he was with the Indian Team in South Africa. He is talented”
Asked to comment on Shoaib Akthar’s comments on Sachin Tendulkar in the Pakistan pacer’s recent autobiography, Zaheer said “it’s a waste of time to discuss such things as everyone knows the truth”