Zaheer ‘itching’ to get back on to the cricket field

The former India fast bowler, who will serve as the captain of Delhi Daredevils this IPL season, is eager to be back on the cricket field to play as well as pass on some wisdom to his less experienced teammates.

Zaheer Khan will serve as the captain of the Delhi Daredevils.   -  Special Arrangement

He may be close to pushing 40 but as the new captain of Delhi Daredevils for the ninth season of the IPL, Zaheer Khan is upbeat about not just his own performance but also the chance to pass on his expertise to the youngsters in the side.

READ: >Can Delhi Daredevils strike the right note?

His pre-tournament press interaction peppered with words like “young energy”, “obsession with numbers” and “giving back to the game”, Zaheer made it clear that he was looking to have some fun through the competition. Having retired from international cricket a year before, the fast bowler said he was looking to get back to competitive action after a year.

“I have hardly played any cricket since the last IPL so I am itching to get back on field and looking forward to some young energy that will be visible on the field. We have a lot of youngsters, these are guys who have been performing consistently in the domestic season – Shreyas Iyer who has had a great season, Karun Nair and Sanju Samson, Mohammad Shami is coming back from injury. It's amazing to see the energy in practice sessions,” the 37-year old Zaheer said even as he swept aside age concerns.

'Why not'?

“I think it's all about clear thinking and strategy. If you are good enough to play and cope with the pressures of the format, why not? At times, I think we get too caught up in terms of numbers, whether it be statistics on the field or age off it and I think we all need to move on from that,” he said.

Asked about having second thought on retiring from international arena after an impressive showing by experienced Ashish Nehra in the recent World T20, Zaheer was categorical. “I am very happy with the decision I took! That said, I am happy to see Ashish Nehra do so well, in fact he has motivated me a lot to get back to training. But I was very clear about walking away from international cricket per se and just happy with this form of cricket,” he clarified.