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Zaheer Khan: He came, he saw, he conquered....he got injured

809   //    22 Jul 2011, 10:55 IST

Zaheer Khan pulls up lame
If Dale Steyn is the best fast bowler currently operating in Test cricket then Zaheer Khan is definitely the most wily.

Indeed Edmund Blackadder would probably argue that Zaheer is as cunning as a fox that has just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

He was certainly too smart for England’s batsmen at Lord’s yesterday. Alastair Cook fell for his lowest Test score since last summer and Andrew Strauss was outsmarted by Zaheer in the first battle of what promises (should that now be promised?) to be some duel this summer.

Zaheer deserved more than his two wickets and had the ball on a string throughout the day. Even the normally unflustered Jonathan Trott looked in a flap against him and Kevin Pietersen was like a cat on a hot tin roof.

And then suddenly he was gone, clutching his right hamstring and grimacing in pain. With four Tests in five weeks, his departure could be serious for India as their seam attack looks pretty average without him. Indeed, even if he didn’t comically trip over an errant cricket ball, this could yet prove to be another Glenn McGrath Ashes 2005 moment for England.

Let’s hope not. We may be passionate England fans, but this series will lose some of its lustre if Zaheer is unable to exhibit his wares, so with any luck his injury is nothing more than a tight hamstring and he will be back this morning to continue his torment of England’s top order.

David Green is the brain behind the The Reverse Sweep, which is intended to offer an irreverent and acerbic opinion on the wonderful game of cricket - the sport that God would play if he wasn't so busy. Since first seeing David Gower hit a glorious and effortless cover drive as a small boy, David has been hooked on the great game. As a useful schoolboy and club cricketer, he harboured wistful dreams of emulating Douglas Jardine in captaining England to Ashes victory in Australia and annoying the locals into the bargain. But alas, England’s loss was literature’s gain as David wasn’t quite talented enough and had to settle for the next best thing of watching, writing and blogging about cricket. Having relocated to France with his young family, David is also trying to get the locals interested in the great game with little success to date.
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