‘Important for all bowlers to be ready’ - Zaheer Khan backs rotational policy in Indian team
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan on Monday backed the team management’s rotational policy, stating it not only creates the perfect platform to build a world-class side, but also hands youngsters motivation at the right time of their career.
“You have about 10-15 bowlers who you can say are going to push each other, and that’s very important for any team to be successful. It’s important that all the bowlers think in the fashion that they have to be ready,” Khan told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of a Sony Pictures Sports Network event on Monday. “If the bowlers who are playing at the highest level continue to be consistent for the longest time, then you (a bowler) kind of get into that zone of thinking perhaps you don’t have a chance of playing. And then when you do get a chance, you’re not ready.”
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India went in with a squad lean on experience against South Africa in the recently-concluded T20I series with the likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar getting a go. While that move didn’t quite hand India the desired result, Khan said he preferred to look at the bigger picture. “There are things which happen in terms of creating a pool of players which is ready. So if you have a great talent coming through, he needs to be motivated at the right time as well. Krunal and Washington Sundar got the opportunity…Rahul Chahar has had a good domestic season so that is something that needs to be encouraged as well,” Khan said.
However, while the current pace attack has evolved as a world-class unit, the management is yet to find a left-arm pacer consistent enough to cement his place and add variety to the squad. The factor, though, didn’t bother India’s fifth highest wicket-taker in Tests. “There was a time when you had three-four left-arm pacers playing in a match. That’s something not in your control but that time it wasn’t like ‘oh! We need a right-armer’. If a bowler is good and is staking claim of his position in the side then he should be part of it. It’s good to have that added variation but it’s not a must variation to have,” Khan said.
He also heaped praise on the current lot; stating while the experience of Ishant Sharma has helped the veteran evolve as a bowler, the art of using the seam has helped Shami to excel across formats. Shami, who has had issues with injuries, did not miss a single game owing to the factor in the last season and Khan said that hunger to stay in the mix, come back stronger and compete with the rest for a place in the side was impressive.
Lauding Jasprit Bumrah, who has been leading the charge across formats for India now, Khan said: “They’ve been using him (Jasprit Bumrah) in short bursts. Bumrah is an exceptional talent…No doubt about it and it’s great to have an X-factor bowler in your side who can have that kind of an impact on the game. He certainly has evolved in a short time in a great manner to be a force to be reckoned with.”