Ganguly says, Zaheer has to prove fitness

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Published: Saturday, December 3, 2011, 12:20 [IST]
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Zaheer not fully fit for Aus tour: Dada

New Delhi, Dec 3: Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly's statement came alarming as he said Zaheer Khan has not done enough to prove his fitness for the tour down under.

Zaheer out of action for a while now, due to a hamstring injury that he picked during the Lord's Test in July 2010, has recovered from the injury and proving the selectors that he is back amongst wickets in the Ranji Trophy game against Orissa which Mumbai won by an innings and 210 runs.

Though his four wicket haul off 22 overs showed the pacer has recuperated from the injury, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly felt, the pace spearhead could not be judged on the basis of one outing. "I feel Zaheer is still not 100 % fit and we can't afford to have a 50 % fit Zaheer in the squad for the Australian tour.

He further added saying, Zaheer needs to play more matches for India and prove his fitness. "One Ranji Trophy game is not enough," he was quoted as saying on Friday.

With 24 more days, Zaheer can afford to play more Ranji Trophy matches and the practice matches at Australia. He also said, BCCI has planned his schedule very well while it wasn't the case 10 years ago while the player had to prove the fitness 10 days ahead of an important tour.

With R Ashwin bowling extremely well and aptly adjudged the man of the series for the recently concluded Test Series against Windies, Ganguly has said, Ashwin is a gifted cricketer, having claimed 22 wickets in the debut series, he has been extremely good at Indian conditions but entirely different conditions are in store for the off spinner as he has to prove his skills against a set of higher quality batsmen at their backyard.

Ganguly, 39 who was in the capital for the launch of Wisden India on Friday also scored a brilliant 135 for Bengal in the Ranji trophy match against Haryana, commented on the pace attack that lacks Praveen Kumar. Due to Praveen's injury, one spot is up for grabs, and since Irfan Pathan has claimed 21 wickets at an average of 14.14, guessing game has started.

"We should have a good young pacer, whoever it is. As far as Irfan is concerned, I have heard that he is bowling well but my question would be whether he is good enough to get into the team on his bowling alone," Ganguly said.

With many changes in the squad and an inexperienced bowling attack, it remains to be seen how Indian bowlers fare against the Aussies at their backyard.


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