Zaheer Khan: ‘Workload management is an individual call’

When asked about the need to play County cricket or spend time in England, before the long series starting in July, Zaheer said that it’s an individual call.

Zaheer Khan also said that a month of playing T20 and ODI series would be enough to get acclimatised for the Test series in August/September.   -  PTI

Zaheer Khan believes that it’s a fact that workload of the fast bowlers has to be managed, and one has to be smart about it as well. After unveiling the Cup for the PRO Star League cricket for schools, conducted across the country, the former India left-arm seamer said: “I have always emphasised that match practice is the best practice. If you are in good rhythm and the workload as a bowler is high, then you skip a few practice sessions, because, if you are in a good rhythm, then that practice session is not going to help you manage the workload. Bowlers have to consult the physios and trainers and figure out a plan that works for them. However, many bowlers want to bowl before the match for psychological reasons. That’s an individual call. I never endorsed staying away from matches, just because the workload is high. I managed my workload in the nets, rather than by miss a match.”

Virat’s County call is his, not team’s

When asked about the need to play County cricket or spend time in England, before the long series starting in July, Zaheer said that it’s an individual call. “Even Virat (Kohli) preferring to play County cricket is an individual call and not a team call. However, the kind of squad we have, most of them have played in England and are aware of what kind of conditions will be on offer. Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are playing there already.”

READ: CoA to MCA: We will declare your elections as null and void

One month enough

Zaheer also said that a month of playing T20 and ODI series would be enough to get acclimatised for the Test series in August/September. “One month will be more than enough time to get used to the conditions. Most players are playing in more than one format and the key players will get used to the wickets and conditions. One thing with England is that the weather is not consistent. In overcast conditions, the ball is going to swing. At the end of the day, you need the right frame of mind and the right technique to deal with it, as a bowler or batsman. The climate would be consistent around that time (August/September) and the wickets may be on the drier side because the sun will be out.”

Knuckle ball trick

Zaheer also talked about the advantage of employing the knuckle ball trick. “As a bowler, you have to stay on top of the game. Knuckle balls don't give clue to the batsman. It's very hard for a batsman to pick it. I personally had lots of success with it, although I started using it only late in my career. It's a great asset to have it (knuckle ball) as a bowler, especially in this format (T20), where the batsmen look to be aggressive and try to hit big shots. It's about speed variation. That's why a lot of bowlers have started using the knuckle ball.”

Zaheer is the West Zone mentor for the PRO Star League inter-school cricket tournament; Yuvraj Singh is for North, Sourav Ganguly for East and V.V.S.Laxman for South.

  Dugout videos