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Injury will make me fitter: Zaheer

February 27, 2004 12:06 IST

India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan says he is not worried by injuries which he feels will only make him fitter in the long run.

The left-arm fast bowler, who is running a race against time to be fit for the upcoming tour of Pakistan, says he would stay positive and come back a stronger athlete.

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"Injuries are there to make you fitter, because you know you get the time off, you can work on your fitness more and then you come back," Zaheer Khan told Karan Thapar in BBC World's 'Face to Face' programme which will be telecast tonight.

"I think I take everything in a positive way and look forward. So I think whatever has happened, has happened for a reason."

"And you must find that reason and work doubly hard to get back," he said.

Zaheer, whose brief career has been plagued by injuries, is fighting a strained hamstring that forced him to miss two Tests during India's recent tour of Australia.

The 25-year-old from Srirampur in Maharashtra says he was not surprised by his quick rise to become India's pace spearhead in a short time since making his debut.

"I think before I played my first game probably I would have been surprised but once I made my debut, once I started picking wickets and performing at the international level, I knew that one day I am going to be the spearhead for the Indian attack."

But Zaheer, who terms his journey from a small town boy to be the leading new ball bowler for the country as 'a miracle', puts down his success to destiny.

"Yes, I do believe in fate. Because, coming from a small town and reaching the stage where I have reached, now I think it has to be destiny and the grace of god."

"It is a miracle I feel and that is why I always say that there is someone who is pushing me all the time and just keeping me going."

Zaheer, who has taken 82 wickets in 28 Tests so far, says taking wickets does not necessarily make him happy.

"Well, I think I am happy only when I am in good rhythm, bowling well. Wickets are secondary. "I mean, it (taking wicket) is very important for the team. Yes, that is also there. But if you are bowling in good rhythm, then sooner or later wickets are gonna come."

Looking back at the memorable World Cup in South Africa last year, where he picked 19 wickets in 11 matches, Zaheer concedes the team failed against Australia in the final because the players tried too hard. "Yes, I was no exception to it. I was really trying to go flat out and giving that extra bit. I was really charged up and probably because of that things did not fall in place."

Zaheer says the turn of events in his life has taught him to be 'very quiet' and he is nevertheless a 'different personality' when he steps on the field.

"I think I do have aggression in me and that shows on the field. And that comes from within. The moment I enter the field I think I am totally a different personality."

Zaheer says '60 per cent of fast bowling happens in the mind'.

"I think if we have the right attitude, then the percentage of success is more." Now that Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman are married, and Sehwag is engaged too, Zaheer becomes the most eligible bachelor in the Indian team.

But marriage is the last thing in his mind at the moment, he says. "I just started my career. So I am just taking my time. I think I still have to give a lot more to cricket and then only probably I will think of it."

"I think it will happen when it has to happen."

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