Zaheer Khan, team India’s former pace spearhead, has once again expressed his desire of becoming the bowling coach of the national team. The Boards of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), last year, revamped the team’s backroom staff, appointing Anil Kumble as the head coach along with Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar as batting and fielding coaches respectively. However, they refrained from appointing a bowling coach but recent reports have suggested that Kumble’s presentation to the BCCI officials on how team India can progress has opened up a slot for a bowling coach.
Zaheer Khan is seen by many as the best candidate to become India’s bowling coach including his former teammate Harbhajan Singh who has openly said that the left-arm pacer is the best person to take up the job. And although Zaheer has said that he has still not planned about taking up the role, he is keen to become the coach.
“I haven’t really planned that far ahead. But in terms of keenness, yes, the keenness is there,” Zaheer said on the bowling coach role. “It is something that I have done throughout my playing career also. If there is someone who wants my advice, I have always been there for them.”
Zaheer has done a wonderful job for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League. The skipper of the capital-based outfit has guided the youngsters like Pat Cummins brilliantly and with India’s current bowling lineup filled up with exciting bowlers, Zaheer can be a good mentor for the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
Zaheer further said that although India boasts of a good pace attack for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, batsmen will play a decisive role for the defending champions in the eight-team tournament.
“With the new rules and fielding restrictions, it is important that you have bowlers who are good enough to bowl in any situation. That’s definitely one thing that goes in India’s favour right now,” he said.
“But in the end, you have got to approach it as a bowling unit that you have to pick up a few early wickets. Batting has always been our strength, and in these conditions, it becomes even more important that the batting line-up delivers,” added Zaheer who is set to don the commentator’s hat for the Champions Trophy.
Zaheer was arguably India’s best pacer in his prime, and led India’s bowling attack with great aplomb in the 2011 ICC World Cup victory. He played 92 Tests and 200 ODI matches for India and scalped 311 and 282 wickets respectively in the two formats of the game.