India’s former fast bowler Zaheer Khan is one of best pacers produced by the country. The left-arm pacer had a perfect bowling action and his jump before the delivery stride helped him in bowling quick. Zaheer was mostly right on the money, which helped him breathe down the neck of the world-class batsmen.
Meanwhile, we all remember Yuvraj Singh’s role in the triumph of the 2011 World Cup but Zaheer Khan had scalped 21 wickets in nine matches at an impressive average of 18.76, to finish as the joint highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
Zaheer Khan scalped 311 wickets in 92 Test matches at an average of 32.95. On the other hand, the southpaw pacer snared 282 wickets in 200 ODI matches at an average of 29.44. Zaheer dominated some of the world-class batsmen in his halcyon days.
Zaheer Khan had a great penchant for left-handed batsmen and troubled them with his swing and pace. We take a look at three batsmen who were Zaheer Khan’s bunnies. All the three batters are world-class and they achieved great success while playing for respective teams.
1. Graeme Smith
Zaheer Khan always had Smith’s number and never let the South African captain settled against him. The Mumbai bowler dismissed Graeme Smith on seven occasions in the Test fold. Furthermore, Khan got rid of the left-hander on six occasions in the ODI format whereas dismissed Smith on a solitary occasion in T20Is.
Khan used to trouble Smith with the incoming delivery and used to set him up beautifully. Zaheer knew Smith’s Achilles Heel and he was able to work out the Proteas skipper.
2. Matthew Hayden
We all remember the 2003 World Cup final when Zaheer Khan had come out roaring against Matthew Hayden but the Australian opener had won the battle that day. Subsequently, Zaheer cracked the code against Hayden and bowled against him with aplomb.
The left-arm pacer dismissed Hayden seven times in the red-ball version whereas he dismissed the Australian on two occasions in the 50-overs format. Khan also got rid of Hayden on one occasions in the T20 version.
3. Kumar Sangakkara
Sri Lanka’s wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara was one of the most technically sound batsmen of his era and it was not a cakewalk to get past the flamboyant left-hander. However, Zaheer Khan was able to have his wood on the stylish batsman.
Zaheer Khan was able to dismiss Sangakkara on five occasions in the Test form and got rid of the Sri Lankan on same number of occasions in the ODIs. Thus, Zaheer was able to dominate Sangakkara in his career.