The body willing, Zaheer Khan is back where he belongs
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At the routine drill sessions of Mumbai's Ranji team at the Wankhede Stadium, Zaheer Khan stayed monkishly focused on his stretching, whereas his Mumbai teammates went about their run-ups and bowling in the adjoining nets a few yards away. The news of Zaheer making a comeback for the South African tour was on expected lines and the pacer hardly seemed surprised after selectors gave him the nod, while he concentrated on the next task at hand.
Zaheer later admitted he was expecting the call-up, after the 35-year-old returned rejuvenated and looked sharp. The effort to look his fittest had taken him to France and then South Africa seeking expertise enroute his second comeback.
"Since last year, I'd been thinking about how to go about this process. The first question was whether I wanted to stage a comeback. When the answer was yes, I chalked out a strategy. I did everything possible to make sure that I am there. Obviously the physical aspect was the big thing. I had to tackle that in consultation with lot of trainers and physios. So far it has worked," Zaheer said after the Mumbai Ranji session here.
Zaheer's issues were never mental. His battle had always been as much with his body as with his opponents. With such a vast experience and as leader of the Indian attack for several years, Zaheer has reached the level where bowlers know how to get wickets, if only the body can be summoned. He throws more light on how he planned his comeback which comprised rigorous training miles away from the limelight in India.
India's bowling scape has changed drastically in the last one year. The Indian pace attack is led by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed while even Ishant Sharma has been pushed to fourth-choice.
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