Zaheer thrilled with first 10-wkt haul

Last Updated 27 January 2010, 17:06 IST

“It is my first ten-wicket haul in Tests, I feel good. Since I am coming back from an injury, it was important for me to back into rhythm as soon as possible.”

“I am still working on my fitness, especially in areas like throwing from outfield, so hopefully it will stand me in good stead in the coming months,” Zaheer said here on Wednesday.

“In fact, time away from international cricket due to injuries was good for me as I was able to focus on a few things on fitness,” he added.

The left-arm pacer picked up 15 wickets from two Tests to bag the man of the match and man of the series awards, but he said it was a collective effort that spurred team to win. “There was nothing much in the wicket for the bowlers, especially for the spinners.

“As the match went on, the pitch got slower and it was the responsibility of pace bowlers, and I am happy that we were able to put our hand up and perform. In the last innings especially, our effort was tremendous,” he said.

Zaheer said he was confident of firing out the Bangladesh lower-order that stood like a rock in front of India in the previous essays.

 “We get some help with the kookaburra ball, especially in the sub-continent, and once it started reverse swinging, I knew we were in with a better chance.”    
Explaining his tactic to come round the wicket, Zaheer said, “It was reverse swinging and coming round the wicket was my option. The wicket was slow and I thought I had better chance to get wickets if I bowl from round the stumps.”

*Zaheer Khan (10/149) became the fourth Indian fast bowler to take 10 wickets in an overseas Test, joining Irfan Pathan (12/126 vs Zimbabwe, Harare, 2005-06 and 11/96 v Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2004-05), Venkatesh Prasad (10/153 vs S Africa,
Durban, 1996-97) and Chetan Sharma (10/188 vs England, Edgbaston, 1986).

* Zaheer’s ninth five-wicket haul was also his best figures in a Test innings. His seven for 87 bettered his previous best of five for 29 against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2002-03.

* Zaheer extended his record of most wickets by an Indian paceman in a winning cause. Zaheer has bagged 121 wickets (average 25.64) in 31 Tests.

*With Shahadat Hossain’s wicket, Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian bowler to claim 600 international wickets, joining Anil Kumble (956) and Kapil Dev (687).

* Sachin Tendulkar extended his record by featuring in 55 Indian wins.

* India have won five Test series in a row for the first time. They won 2-0 against Australia in 2008-09, 1-0 against England in 2008-09, 1-0 against New Zealand in 2008-09, 2-0 against Sri Lanka in 2009-10 and 2-0 against Bangladesh in 2009-10.

(Published 27 January 2010, 17:06 IST)

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