14 April 2024 last updated at 19:15 GMT
Zaheer's fitness key to India's World T20 chances: Wasim Akram
Thursday 20 September 2012

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has said Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan needs to regroup his resources and improve his fitness level if India are to increase their chances of winning the World Twenty20 championship again.

"Zaheer's fitness looked suspect. He did not look sharp enough and probably his energy levels were not up to the mark. I know Sri Lankan conditions are extremely demanding, but if Zaheer has to lead India's attack, he has to be at the peak of his fitness. MS Dhoni's selection worries, I would imagine, will be around his senior players like Zaheer, Harbhajan and Irfan Pathan," the Daily Times quoted Wasim, as saying.

Wasim said the loss against Pakistan in the warm-up game had left skipper Dhoni with the dilemma of whether to go in with five specialist bowlers or opt for the additional batsman, considering that bowling in the death overs has been a worry.

"The match against Pakistan will force Dhoni to mull over his first XI. While it's always a horses-for-courses policy, deciding the playing XI will always be a tough call. For a Twenty20 game, India have several 'all-rounders' and that will enable Dhoni pick four specialist bowlers and seven batsmen. The fact that Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Kohli are decent bowlers is a great bonus for Team India," Wasim said.

Wasim expressed his happiness over the inclusion of Yuvraj in the Indian team.

"It was great to see Yuvraj back in the field. I saw his quickfire 34 off 26 balls against the Kiwis in Chennai. Typically, Yuvraj connected a few lusty blows but his timing has to get sweeter. The fact he is back to international cricket is only due to the Almighty's blessings and I am sure everyone's going to watch him closely in Sri Lanka," he said.


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