Zaheer Khan has been one of the most lethal fast bowlers India has ever produced, taking wickets in both the ODI and Test cricket with consistent ease. Twitter users are busy sending birthday wishes to Zaheer, who has turned 38 on Friday.
The pacer, after impressing in the domestic cricket, broke into the international scene in the ICC KnockOut Trophy in 2000 against Kenya, where he picked up three wickets. However, it was in his second match against Australia, where he received major attention, picking up two wickets of Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh.
From there on, there was no looking back for Zaheer, who led the India pace department for another 12 years as he played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in 2012. He finished his ODI career with 282 wickets from 200 matches.
Besides his individual accomplishments with the ball, he, like many of the Indian cricketers, will consider the historic 2011 World Cup triumph at home as his major achievement while playing for India.
Coming to Test cricket, which was more demanding, Zaheer was equally brilliant picking up 311 wickets from 92 Test matches. Zaheer was not only brilliant with the new ball as he could swing it both ways and dismiss opposition's top order at will, but his ability to reverse swing was amazing. Zaheer also played a fair bit of T20 cricket, and scalped 17 wickets in 17 matches.
During his tenure as India's leading bowler, Zaheer shouldered responsibility and offered tips and suggestions to bowlers as he gained experience over the years. He, unofficially, become the bowling captain of the side, as he played an important role in helping bowlers arrange fielders accordingly.
It was in 2015, Zaheer announced his international retirement, and there have been talks and reports suggesting that the pacer could be next bowling coach for India. In fact, the vacant position should be given to him as he can play an important role in helping the existing crop of India pacers.
Tweets, wishing Zaheer happy birthday