India’s fast-bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan has been included in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad for the fixture against Orissa to be played in Cuttack from November 29. Zaheer’s inclusion was along expected lines, and his participation in India’s upcoming tour of Australia will depend upon how his body holds up in the domestic outing. The India selectors sit on November 26, the final day of the home Test series against West Indies, to pick the squad for Australia. Zaheer is expected to “provisionally” figure in that list.
Zaheer injured his right hamstring on the first day of the Lord’s Test during the tour of England in July. Though he recovered from that injury, a recurring ankle injury re-surfaced during the practice match against Northampton ahead of the third Test at Edgbaston, forcing Zaheer to abort the series that India eventually lost 4-0.
He underwent ankle surgery and is on the road to peak fitness. In the last month, in addition to his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, Zaheer has been involved in light bowling sessions.
Zaheer pulled out of India’s last two tours to Australia after playing just one Test – with a left heel injury in 2007-08 and with hamstring problems in 2003-04.
“I am monitoring my fitness on a day-by-day basis,” Zaheer had said on November 20. “It is looking good but I don’t want to say much.”
Mumbai squad: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Ankit Chavan, Zaheer Khan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ajit Agarkar, Avishkar Salvi, Ramesh Powar, Hiken Shah, Abhishek Nayar, Nikhil Patil, Suryakumar Yadav, Kaustubh Pawar, Onkar Gurav, Akhil Herwadkar, Iqbal Abdulla