Cook: Smith won't be worried about Zaheer

India

Former South Africa batsman Jimmy Cook says Proteas skipper Graeme Smith has overcome the technical fault that saw him removed by India paceman Zaheer Khan a few times, and thinks the upcoming Tests will prove that.

Former South Africa batsman Jimmy Cook says Proteas skipper Graeme Smith has overcome the technical fault that saw him removed by India paceman Zaheer Khan a few times, and thinks the upcoming Tests will prove that.

Zaheer has bagged Smith's wicket six times in Tests, and the India veteran recently joked that he just needed to 'turn up' to claim the Proteas' leader's scalp in the upcoming series. But Cook reckons Biff won't be remotely worried.

Cook, Smith's former coach, told <i>Cricinfo</i>: "I can tell you now, Graeme doesn't think about Zaheer Khan at all Mentally, he is one of the strongest cricketers I've ever worked with so he won't be bothered by what Zaheer said.

"And when he faces him, he won't think 'that's Zaheer Khan I am up against, I should be worried." He'll think 'Zaheer Khan, you're going to have a tough day because you're bowling to Graeme Smith.'"

Cook went on to explain why Zaheer could account for Smith in both Nagpur and Kolkata in 2010, saying: "Graeme was playing the ball too early. When he did that, he would close the face of the bat and leave a gap between bat and pad. That's why he could get out.

"He has sorted out that issue. He has done a lot of work on picking which shots he is good at playing and which deliveries he can target while also understanding which shots he is not so good at and what to do.

"There's no chance Zaheer will be able to do the same thing this time."

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