Cricket

‘Workload management is an individual call’: Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan.

Zaheer Khan.  

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Bowlers have to consult physios and trainers and figure out a plan, says Zaheer

Zaheer Khan believes that it’s a fact that workload of the fast bowlers has to be managed, and there is a need to be smart about it as well.

After unveiling the Cup for the PRO Star League cricket for schools conducted across the country, the former India left-arm seamer fielded questions. Excerpts:

Bowlers’ workload: I have always emphasised that match practice is the best practice. If you are in good rhythm and the workload as a bowler is high, then you skip a few practice sessions because that practice session is not going to help you manage the workload. Bowlers have to consult physios and trainers and figure out a plan that works for them. But many bowlers want to bowl before the match for psychological reasons. That’s an individual call. I never endorsed staying away from matches just because the workload is high. I managed my workload in the nets rather than by missing a match.

County cricket: Even Virat (Kohli) preferring to play county cricket is an individual call and not a team call. But the kind of squad we have, most of them have played in England and are aware of what conditions will be on offer. Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are playing there already.

Acclimatisation time: One month will be more than enough time to get used to the conditions. Most players are playing in more than one format and the key players will get used to the wickets and conditions. One thing with England is that the weather is [generally] not consistent. In overcast conditions the ball is going to swing. At the end of day you need the right frame of mind and right technique to deal with it as a bowler or batsman. The climate will be consistent around that time (August/September) we play the Test series and the wickets may be on the drier side because the sun will be out.

Knuckle ball trick: As a bowler you have to stay on top of the game. Knuckle balls don’t give clue to the batsman. It’s very hard for a batsman to pick it. I personally had lots of success with it, although I started using it only late in my career. It’s a great asset to have it. It’s about speed variation.

Zaheer is the West Zone mentor for the PRO Star League inter-school cricket tournament; Yuvraj Singh is for North, Sourav Ganguly for East and V.V.S. Laxman for South.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 3:01:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/workload-management-is-an-individual-call-zaheer-khan/article23702298.ece

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