IPL no yardstick for Test, ODI selection: Zaheer Khan
November 26, 2019
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan feels that the Indian Premier League should not be used as a yardstick to select bowlers for Test and One-day international cricket as they require different skills set.The 37-year-old, who has 311 Test and 282 ODI wickets, said for Tests, bowlers should be picked according to the conditions andopposition.”I think it has to go format wise. T20 format is hugely different from ODI format and so is ODI different from Test matches. I think when you judge players in T20 format, it should be based only on T20 performances,” said Zaheer, who would be playing his final IPL season for the Delhi Daredevils.One of the finest exponents of reverse swing bowling, Zaheer said that four overs in a T20 game is completely different from bowling ’18 overs-a -day’ in a Test match.”In terms of higher level selection, it all depends what kind of series we are playing. If it’s a Test series we have to look at bowlers differently. It is completely different bowling four overs in T20 to bowling 18 overs a day in Test match scenario and looking to get wickets.”Ashish Nehra’s performance in the Asia Cup and World T20 has been a revelation and Zaheer said that his former new ball partner’s show has motivated him to keep training. However, watching Nehra make an international comeback at 37, Zaheer said that he doesn’t regret his decision to retire.”I am very happy with my decision and I am sticking to that. I am very happy to see Ashish Nehra do well. In fact, he has motivated me quite a lot to get back to training. I was very clear about walking away from international cricket. I am just happy to play this form of cricket. You kind of give it back while guiding the youngsters. This is something that I enjoy,” said Zaheer.advertisementDaredevils have been the perennial underdogs in the IPL and the wily seamer said that he knows how to “deliver in right areas but can’t promise anything”.”I am not going to promise anything. I will focus on the ‘delivery’, just hit the right area and things should take care of itself,” a smiling Zaheer gave a tongue-in-cheek reply.Questioned on what will be his role as a captain as well as bowling coach at DD, he said it won’t be much different.”It’s pretty much simple, what I do on the field. Nothing is going to change. It’s just about managing a bigger group of players. In international teams, you pick 15 players and in IPL you have a bigger group of 24 players. It also reflects on travelling. It is a big group and we would be looking forward towards enjoying the journey. Hope this energy translates into performance young energy. We should perform like true Daredevils.”Zaheer hoped that both him and ‘mentor’ Rahul Dravid are eyeing to give back something to the game.”It’s a great responsibility and a great challenge I would say, something to look forward to. Squad is full of youngsters. My opportunity top give back to the game. Rahul (Dravid) also looks at it in the same fashion. He has worked with U-19 boys and enjoys the responsibility connected to cricket. Important that we transform everything on the field,” said Zaheer.Zaheer also said that West Indies’ World T20 hero and his DD teammate Carlos Brathwaite will be his usual attacking self when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL match on Sunday.”Everyone knows that IPL is all about momentum. Every guy’s contribution will be crucial. And after his performance in the World Cup final, Brathwaite is coming in with that kind of confidence. I am hopeful that he will carry forward that confidence in the IPL,” he said.For Zaheer, the biggest positive will be working with youngsters from India as well as overseas.”I am looking forward towards work with young energy. That will be visible on the field. These are guys who have been performing consistently in the Indian domestic season. Shreyas (Iyer) has had a great season. Karun (Nair), (Mohammed) Sami is coming back from injury. Everyone is excited,” he said.