Former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan was conferred with Padma Shri award – the fourth highest civilian honour- presented by the Government of India. Khan, who is regarded as one of India’s greatest fast bowler of all-time, witnessed a really successful career playing for India .
Zaheer, who made his international debut in 2000 in the ICC Knockout trophy, was a genuine fast bowler at the start of his career before his pace began to drop during the later stages in his career.
The left-arm bowler was a part of a team featuring some of India’s greatest batsmen of all-time, that did exceedingly well in all conditions. In such a team boasting of some of the most popular names, Zaheer was a regular appearance in India’s fast bowling department.
He was the spearhead of the attack for a majority of time in his career, and was relied to deliver the goods on most occasions.
His illustrious career ended in 2015 but not before picking up 311 Test wickets in 91 games for India. He also boasts of 282 wickets in the ODIs – the fourth highest for any Indian bowler. In 2011, Khan played a vital role in helping India realize a dream to win the World Cup after a wait of 28 long years.
With 21 wickets in World Cup 2011, Zaheer was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, and till date boasts of most World Cup wickets for India.
A career which was marred with injures at regular intervals, Zaheer never let the passion and the hunger to play for the country take a back seat. Each of his comeback saw him return as a better fast bowler.
His maturity and the understanding of the game saw him go very far as an Indian fast bowler. Even after more than four years of his retirement, Zaheer is counted among one of the highly skilled Indian fast bowlers of all-time.
Cover picture credits: BCCI