Zaheer Khan was considered as one of the canniest minds during his playing days with the Indian team and he is bringing in all his experience to lead a young Delhi Daredevils side brilliantly.The T20 format is considered ideal for the young generation but Zaheer has outsmarted everyone with his out-of-the-box captaincy.He has brought a refreshing approach with his unorthodox field placements.
In a recent interview, the left-arm pacer spoke about captaincy, T20 format and much more.
“I am doing what I have been doing all these years. Just giving shape to plans and tactics that have the support of Rahul Dravid. The focus is on doing the basics right. It sounds easy but is tough to achieve. You have to go with the game and take instant decisions on the field. If you succeed, you become a leader. If not, there are brickbats,” Zaheer said on Wednesday.
His teammates are calling him super captain. When asked about it, Zaheer modestly said that he is not a super captain and he is only doing his job.
“I am not. I am doing what I did in Tests and one-dayers. Some field placings come across as unorthodox, but they depend on the comfort level of the bowler. We may have plans but they have to be executed too. I am actually lucky to have the bowling attack that is able to execute the plans. That has been the key for the team,” stressed the captain of the Delhi Daredevils.
Talking about playing in T20, the pacer said that he is enjoying the pressure of the format.
“I enjoy being out there. T20 format is ideal for people like me. The dynamics of high pressure have always appealed to me and I have thrived when faced with tough situations. The match intensity is less in T20 because I have to bowl four overs. In Tests, it is 18 overs a day. I feel T20 is less strenuous but the travelling is very hectic. In terms of workload, it is chalk and cheese.”
The pacer said that the T20 format has helped cricket to evolve even more.
“Everyone is pushing the limits and looking to change the tempo of the game. You obviously grow with experience. Look at the game itself. The acrobatic skills of fielders on the boundary are amazing. Batters are practicing ramp shots. Bowlers are looking to innovate with every ball. It is exciting. As for me, I avoid thinking about the game. Just watch my good deliveries before a match and take the plunge.”
The new rules in modern cricket have tilted the game in batsmen’s favour. Speaking on that Zaheer said that while bowling has become tough but then taking a wicket after such a hard work makes it “a fascinating experience.”
“The assessment by analysts makes it tough. You have to create the wicket-taking opportunity, create the angles, bowl the conductive lengths, look to reverse, watch the feet movement of the batsman, make the best of the new and old ball, not relenting one moment. And then the joy of taking a wicket makes it a fascinating experience.”
When asked about his brilliant captaincy, Zaheer said that he is glad to help his team perform well on the field.
“I am glad I have not been a burden. I left international cricket when I knew there was still cricket left in me. It was very hard to say goodbye. Looking back, it was the right thing to do. I retain the fire,” Zaheer concluded.