New Delhi : The Indian cricket board’s decision to send back injured Zaheer Khan from Australia has stirred up a debate on players hiding injuries. Former India fast bowler, Javagal Srinath, who now wears multiple hats as a commentator and match referee, laid the blame squarely on the players.
“Players hiding injuries has happened on a few occasions. Players are responsible for it and it won’t help their cause in the long run,” said Srinath.
Zaheer injured the left heel during the practice session on Tuesday and failed a fitness test before the start of the Sydney Test. The left-arm fast bowler, who has carried this niggling injury for quite some time, was forced out of the third Test in the home series against Pakistan in Bangalore last month.
Zaheer is returning home and Punjab’s Vikram Raj Vir is flying out to Australia replace him.
“Honesty is the greatest attribute a cricketer should have. How long can you play hiding injuries? One game you can manage, but it will not pay in the long run” Srinath said.
He added, that the players need to understand their physiological condition and should make the effort to know what is good and bad for their body.
“A player is the best coach of his body. If he does not have the right attitude in terms of understanding his body, then he will get a lot of ill-advise, which will confuse him,” said Srinath.
On Zaheer’s injury, Srinath said that workload the 29-year-old is taking now he should have been doing very early in his career.
“Ideally a bowler should take the workload at the age of 21-22 and not at 29. A bowler should bowl around 500 overs (in a year) in the early stages of his career so that his body becomes used to the load. Zaheer has been a better bowler after his county stint in England, where he bowled a lot.
“I don’t know about the nature of his injury, but ankle injury is very serious. Because that is the area which takes the whole load of the body while bowling,” he added.
Zaheer is not the only injured bowler, as Munaf Patel has become famous in his short career for carrying mysterious injuries.
“Munaf is a great prospect for India but it is unfortunate that he gets injured too often. I don’t know what is the problem with him, but it is a serious issue. He is a good bowler after all,” said Srinath.