When Irfan Pathan was named in the first game of his international career, there came a comment from Pakistan that we have such Irfans in our gallis and mohollas. Irfan showed a lot of promise but as his batting started to show some color, he lost all that he had in his bowling. Unfortunately, the Indian Premier League also could not do much for his international career even when he was auctioned for a good two million dollars.
Ashish Nehra has been good, but only in patches. Yes, there has the high in his career when he scalped six wickets in the 2003 World Cup in England. However, he has gone only down from there. Yes, he has given India the much-needed breakthroughs early on in the innings. However, those came at the cost of too many runs.
So, Zaheer Khan remains the only bowler to depend on. He has shown his merit time and again either by giving the early wickets or breaking the partnerships. The ability to swing the ball makes Zaheer more lethal. No doubt, Zaheer has had his share of bad patches. But it cannot be ignored that he still is the bowling spearhead for India.
If Team India is known for batting, then it is not the fault of the bowlers. But let us admit it; there was a time when these incidents took place on a number of occasions that if Sachin Tendulkar lost his wickets, the other wickets fell like a pack of cards. Sachin is one guy who alone and literally single-handedly proved to be the one man army for India for the past 20 years now.
This seems to be repeated in case of Zaheer Khan. As he could not bowl during the first innings of the English batting, India suddenly looked a far poorer team than they are. The strained hamstring took its toll on him and the major bowling was left to Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma.
Praveen Kumar is a big asset to the India team. He can use his wrist to such a perfect angle that one can literally see the bowl swing in the air itself before landing on the pitch. Moreover, he can swing the bowl both ways, giving him more importance in the team.
As he can swing the bowl both ways, he can prove and has proved to be a headache for both the right handed batsmen and the left handed batsmen. It was due to his five wicket haul that India managed to restrict the blossoming English score.