Zaheer's return to boost India's chances

Colombo, Jul 19 (UNI) India's bowling concerns were very much sorted out by pace spearhead Zaheer Khan's return in to the side and the pacer did not take much time to get into the groove in the first match that he played after a long lay-off which would certainly boos his side's chances in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka that begins from July 23.

Zaheer's fiery display of fast bowling on the first day against Sri Lanka Board XI in the three-day warm up match, helped India restrict the hosts to 224.

His inspired first spell saw him pick up the wickets of Upul Tharanga for six and Chamara Kapugedera for one.

''The way I look at it, it is going to get better from here.

I definitely set a platform coming into this series and I'm looking forward to playing in it,'' Zaheer said at the end of day one.

The pacer looked pleased with his performnce and said he enjoyed bowling with the new ball.

''It was good to bowl on a fresh wicket. The conditions weren't that bad. There was a nice cloud cover and it was a bit breezy right throughout so it worked in our favour,'' he added.

''It was definitely humid that's one thing that we should be prepared for on the tour. To get them all out on the first day was a big positive for us. We have started this tour on a good note.'' Zaheer also extended his helping hand to youngster Ishant Sharma with whom he enjoyed bowling.

''Ishant provided that extra pace and bounce from the other end.

It was good to bowl in tandem with him because I could stick to my line and length and movement and he adding that extra pace element.

''At this level, you have more responsibilities on your shoulders, of helping younger bowlers. This responsibility has helped me to think more about the game,'' Zaheer added.


Story first published: Saturday, July 19, 2008, 17:04 [IST]
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