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'Can Zaheer survive five Test matches in England? I am not sure'

Last updated on: February 20, 2014 17:38 IST

'Can Zaheer survive five Test matches in England? I am not sure'

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'Zaheer struggled to back up time and time again in South Africa and New Zealand. That's an issue he needs to consider.'

Former captain Rahul Dravid says Zaheer Khan needs to start deliberating on his future, as it would be difficult for him to survive the rigours of five Test matches when India tours England later this year.

The senior Indian pacer, who made a comeback to the Test team after a long injury lay-off, failed to trouble the batsmen during the recent disastrous tours of South Africa and New Zealand. 

Although he bowled 51 overs and had a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the Wellington Test, he was far from impressive. 

"Can he survive five Test matches in England? I am not so sure," Dravid was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"I think it is a question he deeply needs to ask himself. 

"He doesn't want to end up being someone who struggles his way through to the end. It can be really hard. And we have seen, he struggled to back up time and time again in these two series.

"So that's an issue he needs to consider; Indian selectors need to consider," he added. 


Image: Zaheer Khan during a training session


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'I'd hate to see Zaheer end his career bowling 120-125 kph'

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With 311 wickets in 92 Tests, Zaheer is the second-most successful India seamer after Kapil Dev, but his career has been plagued by injuries.

Dravid said he would hate to see the pacer end his career on a low. 

"He has been a great bowler for India, arguably the finest Indian fast bowler since Kapil Dev. I would hate to see Zaheer Khan end his career bowling 120-125 kph and limp away from international cricket. 

"He has done a great job to get himself fit for these two series and, to be fair, he has bowled well in patches; he has bowled consistently," said Dravid.


Image: Rahul Dravid


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'We will need to show some patience with our spinners'

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Talking about the Indian spinners, Dravid said in the past also they struggled in overseas conditions and people need to be patient with them.

"We will need to show some patience with our spinners, whether it is [Ravichandran] Ashwin or whether it's [Ravindra] Jadeja; it's early days for both in international cricket," he said.

"We have seen some greats of Indian cricket, including Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, take a long time to get used to bowling with a Kookaburra ball in overseas conditions. 

"I thought we were a little bit impatient with Ashwin. We haven't given him as much a run as I would like, so I think there is an opportunity for him to get back into the side and play a few more games.

"He will only learn if he play more games," insisted Dravid.


Image: Ravichandran Ashwin
Photographs: BCCI

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