Hope to get fit for Australian tour, says Zaheer Khan

Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sport Bureau

New Delhi: India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan on Friday said that he will be playing the Ranji Trophy to assess his match fitness before the Australian tour. The left arm pacer, who had to leave the England series mid-way due to hamstring and ankle injury, and subsequently had to undergo a surgery two months back was in town looking all fit and raring go.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a promotional event, Zaheer Khan also talked about the younger crop of fast bowlers and his chances of being a part of the Indian squad that would be touring Down Under in December.

Excerpts from the media interaction:

You donned the Indian colours back in July and since then your absence in the team has been felt quite badly. When can we expect you to play for India?

Very soon, I don’t want to speculate but my first priority will be to bowl again then only I would know whether am match fit or not. I would be playing the Ranji Trophy to assess my situation after the surgery.

You might bend your back during the Ranji Trophy fixture between Mumbai and Saurashtra on November 29. What areas you would be keeping a close eye on?

Well, I haven’t yet decided which match I would be playing but yes, I would like to test my fitness. And it is very important for me not to go all out. I am regaining my fitness and I will inform the Mumbai Cricket Association when I am fit to play.

Your injury lay-off meant that rookie bowlers like Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron got a chance to showcase their prowess. What is your take on this young crop of fast bowlers?

They are doing a good job. Pace wise, Aaron and Yadav have been impressive and it is always nice to see young lads performing well in the absence of seniors.

Greg Chappell has been coming up with sensational claims in his book regarding Sachin and Ganguly. You yourself had once said that Chappell’s tenure was the worst phase of your career. Is there any truth behind his claims?

I do not have anything to say on this matter.

So, are you looking forward to the Australian tour?

Very much so, it is going to be a tough series and I would like to a part of it. I hope I do not get any setbacks before the Australian tour.

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