Zaheer Khan, Mumbai's newly appointed captain, looks lean and mean, perhaps the fittest he has looked in his 13 years as an international cricketer. And that is no mean feat, considering that the biggest criticism faced by the left-arm pacer over the years has been about his lack of fitness.
Zaheer, who was sporting a new haircut, was not this trim even during the unofficial Tests against West Indies 'A' earlier this month. So what exactly transpired in a matter of weeks?
"I have left no stone unturned in ensuring that I can be as fit as I can be. Let's just say that I have all angles covered, both on and off the field," laughs Zaheer, during a chat with HT.
So, what's the secret? "I follow a new regimen, I have been following it for a few months (since returning in August after a fitness stint in France), but the results are finally showing. I have never felt better.
"As far as my bowling is concerned, I am getting to where I want to be," adds the man who is five dismissals shy of 300 Test wickets. His haircut and toned body complement each other. "I love my new haircut, it's fun. And I'm having the most fun I've had in a long time."
Since 2005, Zaheer has established himself among the foremost swing bowlers in the game. On his day, he's right up there with the best. However, repeated injury troubles over the last three seasons have blighted his career.
Having turned 35 recently, this season could prove his last chance at staging a comeback to the India team.