A Brief Biography of Zaheer Khan
For a deep look into the journey of one of India's leading pace bowlers, Zaheer Khan, I present a short biography.
Zaheer Khan was born on the 7th of October, 1978 in Srirampur which is in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India. He was born to father Bakhtiyar Khan, who is a photographer and mother Zakiya Khan, who is a school teacher. He even has two brothers Zeeshan Khan, the elder one, who is, by profession a chemical engineer and younger brother, Anees Khan, who manages the family restaurant, ZK’s in Pune.
Zaheer Khan did his schooling in Srirampur. Later he took up engineering for his higher studies but did not continue to pursue his cricketing career.
Zaheer Khan’s team members fondly call him Zak, Zakky, Zippy. Hailing from Maharashtra, this 6’1” lad, has a special liking for dishes like poha, sabudana khichdi,bhajia etc.
The start of Zaheer Khan’s professional Cricketing career
He got selected for the first intake of the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore in the year 2001. In his early days, he used to play in domestic circuit for Baroda. He was declared the Man of The Match for taking 8 wickets for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy match against Railways, where Zaheer’s contribution took Baroda towards a 21 run victory. Another match, which claims mention is when he started playing for Mumbai in the 2006-2007 Indian Cricket Season, there he took 9 wickets to give Mumbai a victory over opponents Bengal. In 2006, he replaced Shoib Akhtar, as one of the two overseas players, for Worcestershire Country Cricket Club.
Later in his career when he was demoted from B-grade to C-grade, by BCCI. That was a time when Zaheer Khan was finding it difficult to sustain his place in the team, due to constant competition from his fellow team mates, RP Singh and pacer Sreesanth. Steady performances in domestic cricket facilitated his comeback in the Indian side. Zaheer Khan got his comeback call from the Indian Test and ODI team in 2006, for the South African tour. His steady performances against Sri Lanka and West Indies in 2007, earned him his inclusion in the 2007 World Cup squad.
Zaheer Khan’s ODI debut happened on the 3rd of October, 2000 against Kenya. His performance in the 2003 World Cup too became a major reason, for India qualifying to the finals. Zaheer Khan took an average of 20 runs per wicket and a total of 18 wickets out of 11 matches, in that whole tournament. He became the pillar of Indian bowling attack, during the 2011 World Cup and he also finished as the leading wicket taker of the tournament, jointly with Shahid Afridi.
Zaheer Khan made his debut in the Test team, on 10 November, 2000 against Bangladesh. His performance during the period of April 2002 and December 2003, was stupendous, taking a total of 54 wickets out of just 16 matches at an average of 30 runs. But after that, his scintillating performance started declining, when he started getting seriously injured at regular intervals. One among those was, when he playing against Australia in December 2003.he suffered a hamstring injury which made him miss the 2nd test, but he came back for the third but unfortunately again he got injured and midway through the match and was forced to go back home. Again during India’s tour of England, in July 2011, Zaheer Khan strained his hamstring and also suffered an ankle injury which ruled him out of rest of the tournament.
His T20 debut came out to be in New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Arica. His T20 International records include a total of 14 wickets from 13 matches. In the IPL he has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first season and then moved to Mumbai Indians for the next two seasons but again resumed with Royal Challengers Bangalore from the 4th season till present.
Some of Zaheer Khan’s records and statistics
*He became the first Worcestershire player to take 10 wickets on a debut for over 100 years.
*In June 2006, he took the first 9 wickets to fall in the first innings in a match against Essex.
*He has taken 288 test wickets at an average of 32 runs per wicket.
*His ODI records include a total of 278 wickets with an average of 29 runs per wicket.
*He holds the world record for scoring a highest of 75 runs by a number 11, against Bangladesh in 2004.
*He also held the record of the highest run partnership by India’s 10th wicket, scoring 133 while batting with Sachin Tendulkar. But this record got broken by Tino Best of West Indies this year (2012).
*Zaheer Khan, while playing the 2nd Test against Australia, in Sydney, took 3 wickets, which became the only best figure in that innings.