Can Zaheer reclaim India spot?
Royal Challengers Bangalore's Zaheer Khan is eager to "reclaim" his place in the Indian team and said he will look to use the period after IPL to attain peak fitness.
Having returned to the RCB playing XI after a long injury layoff, Zaheer, who was dropped after the third Test against England last December, said he was "itching" to get back on the field.
"Post-IPL I have to put in some serious work into my fitness and form to reclaim my place in the Indian team. That's what's on my mind right now -- I want to use that period after the IPL to get stronger, fitter and improve in all the areas," Zaheer was quoted as saying by IPL website.
Image: Zaheer Khan
'I was itching to get back on the field'
In only his second game of the tournament, Zaheer picked up four wickets in two overs against Chennai Super Kings to keep RCB's playoffs chances alive.
"I was itching to get back on the field but I always take my time to come back whenever I am injured. This time too, I could have played a couple of matches earlier but it's always good to be a game late than coming back too early. That was the thinking between the trainer, physio and me.
"I'm definitely feeling much better but I know I've still got a long way to go."
Image: Zaheer Khan
'Kohli is leading RCB from the front'
Zaheer said skipper Virat Kohli is leading RCB from the front.
"He's leading from the front. It shows in his batting that he wants to be responsible for the team's success. I think captaincy is helping him mature fairly quickly. I believe this captaincy stint at IPL will help him improve his game as well."
He also spoke highly of promising left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat."It's really good to see young Unadkat do so well. He's a promising young talent and with time he's definitely going to get better. He had a taste of the highest level very early in his career (Unadkat made his Test debut in 2010 as a 19-year-old) and now he's hungry to get back there, which is good."
Image: Virat Kohli with Zaheer Khan