Zaheer has learnt the art of pace bowling
Former Australian speedster Jason Gillespie praised Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, saying the left-armer was reaping the rewards of the hard work he put in the early part of his career.
"This is his second half of his career and he has really learnt the art of pace bowling. He is very much in control of his game and his reaping in the rewards of that," he told reporters here.
"If I look at fast bowlers around the world, Zaheer for me is a wonderful bowler," he added.
Asked about Praveen Kumar who is representing Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, Gillespie, bowling coach of the franchisee, said the swing bowler was getting into the groove after a long injury lay-off that saw him miss the World Cup.
"He (Praveen) has taken a bit of time coming back but he is pretty much back to full fitness now. He is a good swing bowler and has got some good change of pace," he added.
On his side`s clash against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium here tomorrow, Gillespie said Punjab, who have lost two consecutive matches and have three wins from six matches, would go out for a win.
"We need some victories. No doubt about that. If we stick to our plans I don`t see why we don`t have any chance. We have done well but we will try to be consistent and come out with a win," he said.
Commenting on the team`s eight-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous match at the Eden Gardens, he said the side was 20-30 runs short of an ideal score.
"In our last game against Knight Riders we were 20-30 runs short but we made a really good game out of it. Having said that we really batted with a positive attitude early on and we took a couple of wickets but we couldn`t break that partnership (between Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary)," he added.
The lanky Australian said Punjab opener Paul Valthaty, who has scored 268 runs in six games, has the potential to be a genuine all-rounder.
"As an all-rounder Paul had a fantastic start to the IPL and he has worked incredibly hard on his game. There is no reason why he can`t with his dedication (be an all-rounder). But at this point of the game he can give an option to the captain (with his hand seam-up bowling)," he said.
Asked about Punjab coach Tom Moody`s view that it was time to increase the cap on foreign players from four to five per side in the IPL, Gillespie said, "Look it`s a tough one. It is the Indian Premier League and having as many Indians as possible playing. I would certainly not rule it out but at this stage. Four is pretty good and playing five, maybe, I don`t know."
Commenting on the appointment of Zimabwean Duncan Fletcher as the India coach, he said, "It is a fantastic appointment. He would do a very good job for India. It will be challenge for him."