Fresh from his maiden ten-wicket haul in a Test, Zaheer Khan said that his ability to extract reverse-swing was gained through experience.
“Learning to bowl reverse-swing takes some time, it comes with experience. Due to my injuries, I had some time away from the game in the past and I used that phase to work on my bowling and that helped,” Zaheer said after India won the second Test.
The left-arm speedster said that he was confident about an Indian triumph despite Bangladesh’s fightback on the third day. “Once the ball got old and started reversing, I knew it was just a matter of time. Getting two wickets late on Tuesday helped and of course they went after us and the key was to remain patient. The kookaburra swings a lot in the early overs and once it gets old, you have to rely on reverse swing and that depends on the conditions,” Zaheer said.
Zaheer said that it was imperative for the seamers to contribute in the second Test. “This was not a pitch for spinners and the seamers had to deliver and we did that. In the earlier match at Chittagong, it was a collective effort from all the bowlers,” he said.
“Coming back from an injury, I am happy with my rhythm. My body and mind are in sync and I am working on my throwing and fitness,” he added.
Zaheer also said that the Bangladesh batsmen could have applied themselves better and it was a view echoed by the host skipper Shakib Al Hasan. “We did not think enough about the game. When Shahadat Hossain and Mohammad Ashraful were batting, we thought it would be easy on the pitch and we were laughing in the dressing room. But it was not easy when we got there and the first 15 deliveries were tricky and we did not survive. We have learnt our lessons,” Shakib said.
Shakib turned defensive about the shot that cost his wicket, and said: “The ball was there in the slot to be hit and I like to use the sweep against spinners and I tried that but did not time it well against Ojha.”
The Bangladesh captain also praised Zaheer. “It was difficult to play against him. We thought we should remain steady but he was bowling good reverse-swing and we failed to pick him,” Shakib said.