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Zaheer's presence crucial for India

Zaheer's presence crucial for India

As the Indian batsmen are getting ready for the arduous task ahead of them, the news of Zaheer Khan's availability came as a fresh breath of air. Zaheer somewhat limped out of action on the first day while holding on to his right thigh. He was 15 deliveries into this 3rd spell when he injured himself. He had already taken the crucial wickets of Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss and was continuously troubling Kevin Pietersen with his pace and swing.

As the Indian batsmen are getting ready for the arduous task ahead of them, the news of Zaheer Khan's availability came as a fresh breath of air. Zaheer somewhat limped out of action on the first day while holding on to his right thigh. He was 15 deliveries into this 3rd spell when he injured himself. He had already taken the crucial wickets of Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss and was continuously troubling Kevin Pietersen with his pace and swing.

After he pulled out of the game, he was rushed to the hospital where an MRI scan was done which confirmed that no bigger damage was done by the injury. The braveheart Royal Challenger on Friday even hit the gym and did some mild work-outs. The Indian think-tank was quick to respond by not rushing him into the action on the field even though the depleted Indian attack was battered by double-centurion Pietersen. The thought process was to preserve Zaheer for the full tour than play him on the second day and thereby risk losing him for the rest of the tour. According to reports published, since a minor strain was detected on his right thigh, Zaheer was advised to take rest but might take the field should there be a necessity in the second innings.

England however, made the most of his absence to muster a massive 474/8 before declaring. Skipper Dhoni even chipped in 8 overs with the ball as Rahul Dravid kept the wickets to shield Zaheer, but to no avail as the hero of the Caribbean tour Ishant Sharma returned wicketless giving away 128 runs. However, Praveen Kumar got his rhythm and reaped rich dividends while pitching the ball up further and letting it swing both ways. His figures of 5/106 bear testimony to his dedicated effort on the second day.

But the action now shifts towards the Indian batsmen. Especially on Sachin Tendulkar as everybody awaits the Master's 100th International ton and at a crucial time when India really needs it. Speaking of milestones, Rahul Dravid also needs only 49 runs more to become the second highest run getter in Test cricket. But more importantly, the Indian middle order now needs to come up with stellar performances to match England batting might in the first innings.

Having said that, it is becoming imperative that Zaheer Khan stays on for the tour. Without him, the Indian attack takes a deep slide as was seen on the second day. So even as the world waits for the Indian batting to match up with England, its Zaheer's presence (or absence) in the middle that may prove to be difference between the two sides till now.

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Latest comments

ZAK come back
mulgur on 05 Aug 2011, 08:41 PM
Is zaheer coming back for 3rd test?
shashi-kumar2 on 05 Aug 2011, 07:53 PM
India needshim
krishnasa1 on 03 Aug 2011, 03:46 AM
ZAK has to be in 3rd test atleast
krishnasa1 on 03 Aug 2011, 03:46 AM
we want 2 see zak in action in england!
ANANTH11296 on 31 Jul 2011, 09:29 AM
ind is playing well without him also
ANANTH11296 on 31 Jul 2011, 09:28 AM
Ya but he has to recover first!!!
shashi-kumar2 on 29 Jul 2011, 09:17 PM
:( not great news to hear:P
maya12456 on 29 Jul 2011, 05:40 AM
very sad.. heard about injury... :(
kpkkara-kpkkara on 28 Jul 2011, 04:49 AM
doubtful for 2nd test who can replace him
krishnasa1 on 28 Jul 2011, 03:42 AM
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