Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- ~~I will be under pressure, but that~~s fine~~

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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Kolkata:Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan on Monday conceded that he would be under added pressure in Pakistan having returned from a two-month lay off, but exuded confidence of coming out triumphant by putting in the extrabit with the ball.

Zaheer, who missed the second and fourth Tests in Australia as also the entire Limited Over tri-series following a hamstring injury, said that he was 'very pleased' with the way he bowled in the practice game at the Eden gardens during the day.

''I will definitely be under added pressure in Pakistan as I have not played for two months. I know that I'll have to bowl that extra bit,'' Zaheer said.

Asserting that he had bowled full pace at the practice game, the left-arm seamer said that the it gave him a feel of real match situations and would stand him in good stead during the coming tour.

Zaheer, who attended an interaction alongside the established and upcoming pacers of the country with bowling consultant Kapil Dev, said that the tips from the cricketing legend would help him in formulating his strategy in the coming series.

''It will also help me avoid injuries in future'' he said. In fact, Kapil Dev, who spent a long time in the middle with Indian pacers during the day - both at the morning net session and the practice game - was seen giving advice to the quicks including Zaheer.

Asked to name the Pakistan batsman who might turn out to be the most difficult to bowl at, Zaheer said, ''At present we are concerned only in devising our own strategies. Before every tour, whether abroad or at home, we always decide on the team strategy and then stick to it,'' Zaheeradded when asked about his plans to bowl at the Pak willowers.

On whether he found the stress on pacers unusual ahead of an Indo-Pak trip, Zaheer said that during the last one and half years Indian fast bowlers were delivering the goods, which was a 'good sign'.

However, he added that spinners also had an important role to play in Pakistan.

Asked whether the secret behind reverse swing, the main weapon of Pakistan bowlers in the past, had now become open, Zaheer said ''there is nothing hidden about reverse swing. It depends on the ground and conditions.''

Zaheer said that he hoped to benefit from the suggestions give by Dennis Lillee, but it will require some time to implement them.

He reiterated that the tag of the country's leading strike bowler after Javagal Srinath's retirement had not affected him. ''Yes, that has put some additional responsibility on me. But it has also egged me on to perform better for India.''

Zaheer also contended that Indian tail enders were now working hard to improve their batting, and referred to the performance of the latter order batsmen Down Under to buttress his point.

He deftly sidestepped a question on whether Indian pacers and spinners would have done well in Pakistan with a bowling coach, saying ''I have no idea. This query should be put to the captain and coach.''

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