Zak holds the World Record for the highest Test Score by a Number Eleven
Zaheer Khan was born on 7th October 1978 at Shrirampur in the Ahmadnagar District of Maharashtra. He was coached at the National Cricket Academy at Bangalore in 2000. Gautam Gambhir was also enrolled there the same year. He has had some strong performances in the domestic circuit. He played for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy and led them to the championship in the 2001 final against the Railways and was man of the match for his 5/43. He started playing for Mumbai from 2007 onwards. He again helped Mumbai defeat Bengal in the 2007 final. He played for Worcestershire County in 2006. In the English County Cricket scene, Zaheer Khan has made history in Worcestershire as the only cricketer to take ten wickets in a match on debut for over a century against Somerset in 2006. Later, the same year, he had figures of 9/138 against Essex.
His nickname is `Zak’. Zaheer Khan is a left arm fast medium bowler and a right hand batsman. He has improved in his abilities to swing the new ball and reverse swing the old ball. He is quite good even on flat tracks. He made his test debut against Bangladesh at Dhaka on 10th November 2000. He made his one day debut against Kenya at Nairobi on 3rd October 2000. He made his T20 International debut against South Africa at Johannesburg on 1st December 2006. He has played 78 tests scoring 1,045 runs with three fifties. He has taken 271 wickets and 18 catches. His best test figures are 7/87. He has played 191 one day matches scoring 781 runs with 42 catches and 273 wickets. His best one day figures are 5/42. He has played 12 T 20 internationals scoring 13 runs and taking two catches and 13 wickets. He has played fourteen world cup matches and has taken twenty three wickets.
Zaheer Khan’s initial spell in the world cup final this year against Sri Lanka at Mumbai subdued batsmen like Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga. His bowling played an important part in curbing the Sri Lankan batting strength. He bowled three maidens out of his first four overs. While it is the batsmen who are always given a lion’s share of praise for winning a world cup final like the one this year when Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked away with accolades, Zaheer Khan’s contribution with the ball cannot be forgotten. He ended this year’s World Cup tournament as the joint highest wicket taker with Shahid Afridi. During the final, he really rose to the occasion and performed.
Hamstring injuries in the 2003 to 2005 seasons kept him mostly out of the team. He is now the pace spearhead of the Indian bowling attack. He swings the ball both ways. In the 2009 test series against Australia in Bangalore, he became the third Indian cricketer after Rusi Surti and Kapil Dev Nikhanj to score a half century and take five wickets in an innings. Zaheer Khan holds the world record for the highest test score made by a number eleven batsman when he made 75 against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2004. His partnership with Sachin Tendulkar for the tenth wicket of 133 runs is also an Indian record. In one day internationals, his batting average of 19.46 at number ten is also the highest average at that slot. Zaheer Khan belongs to the old school of thinkers who believe that test cricket is the ultimate challenge.