Khan refuses to believe his career has come to an end
While some cricket pundits and former players feel that India pace bowler Zaheer Khan has reached the end of his career, the seamer believes otherwise, stating that “by no means am I done” and added that he can still play for “another 3-4 years” before he even considers retiring.
Khan has been sitting on the sidelines after sustaining a calf injury during the Ranji Trophy and has not represented India since their final Test against England in Nagpur in December.
“I want to continue for another 3-4 years,” Zaheer told Mirror. “By no means am I done. I still have that hunger. I just need to sort things out and make the right calls. I know that I definitely have three-four years and I will make sure I come back and come back strong. I want to prepare fully, in terms of bowling, fielding and fitness. I want to cover all angles now and use this time really wisely in preparing.”
While Khan has not started bowling yet, he noted that he has been running and expects the recovery process to speed up from now, especially since he is working closely with Ashish Kaushik, who is the physiotherapist at the National Cricket Academy.
The 34-year-old revealed that he was still interested in playing both ODIs and Tests and does not want to give up playing in one or the other.
“Test matches have been my priority but I want to be there in ODIs as well,” Khan said. “I definitely have to work more on my fitness which I’m ready to do.”
India are currently taking on Australia at home, but Khan noted that it was highly unlikely he would be able to play at any point throughout the series.
“I don’t want to jump the gun,” he said. “The long-term picture is on my mind. I definitely have a lot of cricket left in me. I need to figure out things.”
Khan had a dismal 2012, picking up just 15 wickets in eight Test matches, but he was still surprised after being told that he would be dropped from the national team.
“Obviously, I wasn’t expecting it [being dropped],” he added. “You have to take things in your stride. At the highest level you are just as good as your last game. If you look at it that way then, whether I am rested or dropped, you got to take it as a professional and move forward. That’s what I have been doing. I went and played Ranji Trophy, which is the next best thing.
“I still have plenty of things to offer. That’s my faith. I have had that kind of faith in my ability and that’s what drives me to try and make this comeback.”