Ishant, Nehra can fill my void: Zaheer

Left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan, recuperating from a shoulder injury, believes the Delhi duo of Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra are good enough to fill the void.

updated: August 11, 2009 16:19 IST
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New Delhi:

Without Zaheer Khan, Indian bowling would look low on firepower in this year's Champions Trophy but the left-arm pacer, recuperating from a shoulder injury, believes the Delhi duo of Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra are good enough to fill the void.

"There is a healthy competition in the bowling unit and I'm sure whoever plays, will take the responsibility and do well in his role. The most important thing is India wins the tournament," Zaheer told reporters on Monday.

Here to interact with the eight finalists of the Dabur Glucose D Ace of Pace, a talent hunt show at the Roshanara Club, Zaheer spoke highly of Ishant and was effusive in his praise for comeback man Nehra.

"Ishant has been doing well for quite some time, while Nehra has made a great comeback," he said.

"I'm really happy for Nehra. He faced a lot of injuries and as a fellow bowler, I know what he has gone through before making a comeback after four years.

"I've known him for long and he has been a great friend.

He has struggled a lot and put in a huge amount of effort and I'm happy for him," Zaheer said.

On his injury, Zaheer said he would return to South Africa soon for the second part of his rehabilitation and vowed to return to the field stronger and fitter.

"Injuries are part and parcel of our life. You cannot run away from it. You can do all the right things to avoid or delay injuries but once it happens, you have to be patient and try to control only the controllables. You cannot rush things", Zaheer said.

"I don't see it as a setback. Rather, I see it as an opportunity to work on my fitness. I want to return to the field at the earliest but at the same time, I don't want to let my team down. I want to return when I can give my 110 per cent. I want to return stronger and fitter," he explained.

Reacting to reports that BCCI sports medicine consultant Dr Anant Joshi was kept in the dark regarding his surgery, Zaheer said, " I can tell you that I kept the Board informed all along."

Asked about his interaction with the kids, Zaheer said it reminded him of his own formative years and how he completed the journey that ended with him securing a place in the national squad.

"As I see these young, talented kids coming from small towns with a dream, it reminds me of my younger days when I used to play cricket in Baroda," he said.

Eight kids, from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh were chosen from 68,000 candidates for the final of the nationwide bowling talent hunt and two of them would attend a month-long cricket camp in the capital.