Zaheer looking forward to South Africa tour

India

India fast bowler Zaheer Khan is looking forward to the tour to South Africa in December, saying he enjoyed playing there and had a good record on Proteas' soil, having visited there four times.

India fast bowler Zaheer Khan is looking forward to the tour to South Africa in December, saying he enjoyed playing there and had a good record on Proteas' soil, having visited there four times.

The paceman was named in the both the ODI and Test squads for the trip after more than a year out of the side in all formats, and at the age of 35 was confident of doing well, having recovered his fitness and sorting out some technical difficulties.

Zaheer said: "I have ironed out things I felt were pulling me back. I am ready to take on the challenge. It is great to accept challenge and to live up to it.

"I have had some good memories of South Africa. My last comeback was there, so I am looking forward to it."

The elder statesman was then asked of his impressions regarding the younger bowlers, especially Mohammed Shami, who did superbly on debut earlier this month, taking nine wickets against the West Indies.

Zak said of Shami and company in <i>The Hindu</i>: "They look very promising. As one can see, Shami produced a brilliant burst against the West Indies.

"It was a dream spell and a dream debut for him, considering the sub-continent conditions where it's hard to get wickets. He bowled well not only with the new ball, but the old one as well."

Another youngster, Umesh Yadav, earlier in the week said he felt Zaheer's advice was vital to the side, and the paceman said he enjoyed helping new players, adding: "That comes naturally to me.

"If I want to help someone, I don't hesitate to go up to him. Being a bowler (seamer) in the sub-continent is never an easy task.

"You have to keep encouraging them and give them the confidence. It's about backing yourself and this thought-process is very important."

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