Zaheer optimistic about return to Team India

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Out of favour but clearly not out of form, left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan believes consistent shows in county cricket will earn him a country call again.

Zaheer, who claimed nine Essex wickets in an innings - could have achieved a perfect 10 but for a dropped catch by stumper -- is eager to return to the international scene and considers his Worcestershire stint as a launching pad to revive his career.

Asked if he was optimistic about a comeback with such steller shows, Zaheer told Gulf News, ''That's the hope I am nurturing.

That's why I came to play County. I have to get back to the international scenario and I'm ready to do everything for that.'' The Baroda pacer said he was ready for national duty, for ''I'm in a good rhythm and playing better and better,'' he added.

Once spearhead of the Team India attack, Zaheer revealed life was not easy in the wilderness and asked what he missed most, the pacer said, ''The national team's dressing room. Once you belong to there, you want to be there always. And I know I can come back only when I can perform at my best. Nine for 28 was not a bad effort I believe.'' Asked how it felt to grab first nine Essex wickets and then missing the landmark after Darren Gough was dropped, Zaheer said, ''You cannot plan to get all 10. It would have been great to get the 10th as well, but getting nine wickets is a great achievement too. I really enjoyed it.

''Forty wickets in seven matches is something I can use as a launching pad. I need to go all out for wickets and make my team successful. If I can do that, I'll start thinking about my chances of a comeback,'' he elaborated.

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