Zaheer Khan, the former India fast bowler, will now serve as the bowling consultant of Team India. The decision was made on the same day the new head coach was announced in the form of former Team Director Ravi Shastri by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar.
While Shastri’s appointment has been subjected to few disagreements, the choice of Zaheer Khan as bowling coach has made people happy from every quarter. Fans, as well as critics, believe that Zak will add a lot of quality to the side.
A small controversy arose immediately after the appointment that Shastri was unhappy and wanted his trusted man Bharat Arun for the job. However, those were understood to be just rumours.
150 Days Contract
Zaheer Khan, who formally retired from active cricket this year after the culmination of IPL 10, initially had reservations about committing to a full-time role. It was reported that he wished to take up the role only for around 100 days period.
But, CAC did a great job in convincing the India’s most successful left-arm fast bowler in signing up for a 150 days (5 months) contract on tour to tour basis.
Mentor Proud Of His Protégé
Former coach of India’s new bowling consultant Vidya Paradkar has been struck with happiness after realising that the teenager whom he mentored has now been entrusted with the role of coaching Team India.
He is not surprised, though and reveals that Zak was always meant to guide youngsters given his thinking nature and analytical brain.
“Even in his teens, Zaheer Khan was always a thinking bowler and had an analytical mind. I am delighted that he has been offered to be India’s bowling consultant,” said the Central Mumbai-based Paradkar, who along with former Test opener Sudhir Naik, helped in Zaheer’s emergence from Cross Maidan’s National Cricket Club.
Paradkar reckoned Zaheer Khan displayed his ability to be a good coach during his final Indian Premier League season with Delhi Daredevils earlier this year.
“I observed him closely. He captained the side well and his field placements were spot-on. They looked a potentially champion side under him. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it.
“He has all the attributes to be a successful bowling consultant for India. Firstly, he had this great bowling armoury — he could bowl all types of deliveries — and then, of course, he has the experience of 92 Tests,” said Paradkar, who recalled the left-arm fast bowler’s days at National CC.
“Zaheer was fully focused on his game. He never took cricket off his mind; he would never even go to watch a film in a theatre. His studious nature worked for him as well,” Paradkar added.
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