Fit Zaheer to spearhead Mumbai attack
India left-arm speedster Zaheer Khan, who has recovered fully from the shoulder injury, is set to make a comeback for Mumbai against Punjab in their first Ranji game at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium in Chandigarh today, reports Vinod Kumar.india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 00:22 IST
India left-arm speedster Zaheer Khan, who has recovered fully from the shoulder injury, is set to make a comeback for Mumbai against Punjab in their first Ranji game at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Buoyed by the presence of Zaheer in the team, Mumbai coach Pravin Amre said, "He is a champion bowler and will definitely give the team a boost. He, along with Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Power, can trouble any batting line-up," said the Mumbai coach.
The speedster sustained the injury during the Indian Premier League (IPL-II) due to which he was out of action for the last four months. "He has been out of action for long but I am sure he will deliver the goods for the team," said Amre.
On the other hand, with new skipper, Ankur Kakkar, and relatively young team, it will be a test of character for the local team. However, the Punjab coach sounded confident of his team doing well in the season opener. Vishwas Bhalla, Gaurav Gambhir (all-rounders), Bharat Loomba (fast bowler) and Harmeet Bansal (fast bowler) are the new faces included in the team.
"Mumbai has always been a team to watch out for and there is nothing like starting Ranji campaign with a win against the domestic giants," said Punjab coach Bhupinder Singh Senior. "It is the first game of the season and, in any championship, it is very important to start off well. A good result will set the tone for rest of the season," he said. "We have the right combination of youth and experience. We need to play good positive cricket and if we play up to our potential, I am sure of good results," he said.
The home team has a decent batting line-up but it is the bowling which is an area of concern. With V.R.V. Singh unfit for the match, Manpreet Singh Gony will share the burden of the new ball attack with Loveabhlish, who is making a comeback from the Indian Cricket League.