Monday, February 28, 2011

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan - 2011 ICC World Cup - India Portrait Session

About Zaheer Khan

Full name Zaheer Khan

Born October 7, 1978, Shrirampur, Maharashtra

Current age 32 years 104 days

Playing role Bowler

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium
Major teams India, Asia XI, Asia XI, Baroda, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surrey, Worcestershire

Zaheer Khan Profile

Zaheer Khan is an Indian fast bowler with all the traits that made the Pakistani fast bowlers a phenomenon. He swings the new ball and reverses the old, he does well on flat subcontinent pitches and relishes the helpful ones away, and he controls all three balls well - SG, Duke and Kookaburra. He might not quite have the skills of Wasim Akram, who he has often been compared to, but mentally Zaheer has become as good as Akram. He knows how to get wickets, he has an intuitive sense of when to go for the kill, and once a batsman has shown him the slightest hint of a weakness, Zaheer preys on it ruthlessly. Unlike the Pakistan fast bowlers of the 2000s, though, he stays away from controversy and is pretty low-key off the field.

Zaheer's career can be easily divided into three distinct sections, neatly segregated by injuries. He was all promise ever since he bowled Steve Waugh with a low full toss in the Champions Trophy in 2000. A mysterious injury in Australia in 2003-04 - hamstring at first and later discovered to be a nerve twitch - then tortured him for the best part of the next two years, during which he could not sort out the true nature of the injury. Every comeback ended in a frustrating setback through a new injury.

In 2006, though, Zaheer, now with a shorter run, a fitter body and a meaner mind, dazzled England with 78 wickets for Worcestershire, where team-mates started calling him Zippy Zakky. He was the perfect foil for Sreesanth in South Africa, and he then regained his status as leader of the pack with a matchwinning display at Trent Bridge, as India won only their fifth Test on English soil. The new, lethal Zaheer was not only the leader of the Indian attack, he was one of the best in the world. Already the second-most successful Indian pace bowler, if Zaheer keeps injuries at bay, he could end up as India's most complete fast bowler of all time.

Fast Facts

* Zaheer Khan was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2008.
* He is India's most successful left-arm seamer and the third most successful in the World.
* In Tests, he is India's most successful fast bowler after Kapil Dev.
* Zaheer became the third Indian bowler to take more than 150 Test wickets outside India.
* He was India's highest wicket taker in the 2003 ICC World Cup.
* In county cricket, he became the first Worcestershire player to take 10 wickets in a match on debut for over 100 years.
* He was the highest wicket-taker in 2007, picking up an astonishing 81 scalps in Tests and ODIs combined.
* As of December 2010, his 75 against Bangladesh in 2004 was the highest Test score by a number 11 batsman.
* Against Australia in 2008, Zaheer became the third Indian after Rusi Surti and Kapil Dev to score a half century and take five wickets in an innings in the same match.

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