Injured Indian pacer Zaheer Khan is recuperating well after undergoing ankle surgery, but hasn’t set any ‘targets’ for his comeback into the Indian team. Zaheer, though, is keeping is fingers crossed for a strong return during the Australia tour.
"I've already started training and the second phase of my rehab has started. What I need to do right now is to build some strength in the ankle. I'm not rushing and I hope to come back strongly into the team. I'm taking one day at a time and not setting targets. My progress has been slow but positive," Zaheer said.
"To start bowling, I have to regain full strength in my ankle. Then I might play a few club matches or first-class games."
Zaheer admitted missing out in England had been frustrating, especially since the team was so dependent on him.
"It's frustrating not to play at the highest level. But you can only control the controllables and be patient. I don't think the over-dependence on me adds to the pressure. It feels good to go to sleep with this kind of expectation. I enjoy responsibility," Zaheer said.
On the selection committee's decision to axe off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer said: "Harbhajan has put in great performances for the country. I'm sure he'll be back soon as he is too good a player to be left out. He has a lot of fire in him and is a strong character."
Zaheer also backed India's new crop of rookie pacers to deliver in his absence. "I haven't seen a lot of them due to my international commitments but I've seen some talented pacers in the IPL. I have worked with Umesh (Yadav) when he was with the Indian team in South Africa. He is talented. The likes of Sreenath Aravind can only improve."