New Delhi: It's only standard for members of any fraternity to appreciate the contribution of a retiring colleague.
It was no different in Zaheer Khan's case, as the pacer announced his retirement from international cricket on October 15.
However, what was unique was how cricketers, past and present, described Zak.
Sachin Tendulkar said Zaheer could 'out think' the batsman, while MS Dhoni used the word 'clever'.
There were others like his former bowling partner Ashish Nehra who said Zaheer understood the game better than most.
The unanimity of their opinion suggests the 37-year-old boasts of a great cricket brain.
Towards the end of his career, Zaheer was used a 'bowling captain' by Dhoni to guide the younger bowlers like Umesh Yadav.
Many have described him as the complete left-arm pacer.
Zaheer's ability to be as effective opening the bowling and at the death was unique.
However, Zaheer's greatest strength was how he managed his body through the course of a long career.
There is a lot he can teach the upcoming bowlers with regards to battling injuries, which has been a major problem with Indian bowlers in recent years.
It remains to be seen whether the BCCI utilizes his services to nurture younger bowlers.
However, there is no doubt that Zaheer will make an ideal mentor to generation next of Indian bowling.