I was nervous going into first Test, concedes Zaheer

Published: Monday, December 16, 2002, 19:51 [IST]
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Wellington: India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who picked his maiden five-wicket haul last week, admitted on Monday, he was quite nervous going into the first Test against New Zealand at Basin Reserve.

"It was tough for me to play straight in the Test after a gap. It was tough on the knee since I had a narrow escape in the Super Max game," said the left-arm fast bowler, who took five for 53 to help his side restrict New Zealand to 247 in their first innings of the first Test, which the hosts won by 10 wickets. Zaheer Khan was hit painfully on the right knee while fielding in India's tour opener on December 4 at Christchurch and had to miss the subsequent three-day game against Central Districts at Napier. But he recovered on time to have a go at the Kiwis in the first Test. "I've been missing it on quite a few occasions. It is finally great to have achieved such a milestone though losing the Test was a big disappointment. "I've been telling all it is a matter of bowling well. If you do so, obviously you are going to achieve it down the line." He said picking the wicket of home captain Stephen Fleming on the second day was the key to his success in the Test. "The wicket of Stephen Fleming was important because it was my first wicket and gave me the confidence."

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