Monday, August 22, 2005

AFRO-ASIA CUP-ZAHEER K(H)AN


The decider of the Afro-Asia cup was disrupted by rain and the teams shared the trophy. The team from Asia managed to level the scores in the second match after being pipped to the post in the first. In all the three matches, there was one player who was consistently good-Zaheer Khan. There were yorkers which one rarely saw after the heady stuff in the ICC Champions Trophy at Nairobi where he uprooted the stumps of the great Steve Waugh. He bowled with purpose and deservedly was named the Man of the Series.

Waqar Younis expressed displeasure over the omission of Khan from the Indian team that tours Zimbabwe. The left-armer might have bowled badly in the Indian Oil cup in Sri Lanka but his performance in South Africa deserves the credit.

Consistency has never been the forte of Zaheer although no one can question his ability. His temperament has always been suspect especially after the caning at the hands of Ponting and company in the finals of the 2003 World Cup. So this performance came as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one.

Was Khan merely reminding the selectors of their folly?I am of the view that with the pressure of playing for the country gone, Zaheer was unburdened. The public anger over a failure can be very high in India. It is not easy soak all the pressure and deliver.

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