Not At My Best Yet: Zaheer
Zaheer Khan's 10-wicket match haul sunk Bangladesh in the second Test but the Indian spearhead believes he is still some distance away from attaining his peak bowling fitness.
Zaheer, who put his shoulder under the knife in August last year, said the injury-layoff allowed him to work on his bowling but he was not at his best yet.
"Lot of things in bowling come from experience. I started late in my career and was out of the side due to injuries," Zaheer told reporters after scripting India's 10-wicket victory in the second Test in Mirpur on Wednesday.
"I think injuries helped me work on my bowling. I was fortunate that I could work on my bowling and make a comeback," he said.
Zaheer's sterling performance earned him both the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards but the left-arm seamer said he could be even better.
"(I have) still a long way to go on my fitness. But to get back from the injury and bowling well is satisfying. I have started the season on a positive note and I am looking forward.
"An important series (against South Africa) is coming up and I am looking forward to do well," said the pacer.
Elated with his first 10-wicket match haul, Zaheer said, "I am happy with my first 10 wickets in a Test. I am in a zone where I am relaxed with my body and mind are in sync."
Dwelling on the match, Zaheer said even though the hosts posed some resistance yesterday, the Indians knew they have a chance to win after taking two quick wickets towards close last evening.
"It was more to do with the nature of the wicket. It was quite slow yesterday. They were batting well and taking their chances. As bowlers we have to be patient. When we got the last two wickets we knew that we have a chance.
"In the last 20 minutes yesterday the ball was reverse swinging. We thought we could take wickets today morning and we did," he said.
Zaheer said the wicket did not have much for the spinners and he was happy that the fast bowlers did their job.
"The wicket was slow and low throughout and there was nothing much for spinners. So I am happy that the pacers shared the wickets. At Chittagong (in first Test) also we have a collective effort as a bowling unit," he said.
"It was a difficult track but the kookaburra ball always do something on sub-continental pitches. It swings when new and there will be reverse swing when old as as it did today," he added.
Zaheer said he was surprised by Bangladesh's dramatic collapse but said they would learn from experience.
"I was surprised by the collapse. They could have applied themselves more. But these are their early days in Test cricket and they will learn. And they would be confident of their batting performance in this Test," he added. PTI