first_imgThroughout his career, Zaheer Khan managed to keep low-key profile off the field. Usually, his piercing in-swingers and reverse swings did the talking.But ask Zaheer about fast-bowling, and one could instantly see the spark in his eyes and his mouth ready to shoot the breeze.The Mumbai man has retired from international cricket, but his opinion about the pace talent serve just like his potent yorkers.Speaking to Mail Today on Tuesday, Zaheer expressed his contentment with the current lot of fast bowlers.The former left-arm pacer was also particular about the fact that the Indian bowlers hunted in a pack which allowed them to pick wickets in regular intervals – an aspect that can be key at the upcoming ICC World Cup.”I think the fast bowlers have been superb. If you look at their numbers, they speak volumes. As a group, they are able to achieve lots. To win Test matches you need 20 wickets, and it has not been a case of just one bowler accumulating all wickets. All of them have contributed and just the fact that Umesh (Yadav) and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) have to wait for their turn shows the depth we have in the bowling line-up,” said Zaheer, co-founder and mentor Ferit Cricket Bash, a platform for amateur cricketers in the Capital.With the World Cup being held in England from May this year, India’s pace attack has been the talking point in cricket worldwide.In Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Zaheer believes, India have found the perfect blend of pace and swing that can prove to be lethal in English conditions.advertisementHe added that the experience of these players will come to fore during the mega event.”See, playing conditions are something that comes into place when you visit the country for the first time. This lot of players we are talking about has played enough cricket to not be bothered by it. The bowlers have been familiar with different conditions (over the year) and they have produced good performance too. I think that works with that kind of experience,” he added.With the squad for the World Cup all but confirmed, the name of Khaleel Ahmed is doing the rounds as a back-up option in fast-bowling unit.Ahmed was part of India’s recent overseas tour but failed to impress the cricket experts. His inclusion in the final team still remains a subject for debate.Zaheer, however, said the selectors can opt for the 21-year-old left-arm pacer from Rajasthan if they want some variety in the squad.”I think it is a matter of what the management needs. If they want some variety within the squad, they can certainly go for him. Talent wise, he is there but at this level, it’s all about how quickly you can learn and adapt to pressures of international cricket. Look at Bumrah and how he has evolved as a bowler and you get a comparison. Khaleel need to take inspiration from him.”Rest assured, I think Indian team is ready for the World Cup. They have given enough glimpses of their strength and the forthcoming series against Australia will be another challenge to relish. Overall, I think we are ready,” he concluded.last_img

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