Did Team India miss the services of Zaheer in ODI?

A hapless Indian team bundled out for mere 146 runs in the 2nd ODI which in turn became MS Dhoni’s first series loss in the year 2013.

The famed batting line-up of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, himself, crumbled and fizzled out to the pace and bounce of South African speedsters. Let alone the batsmen, the bowlers too underperformed.

The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav did not trouble the Proteas batsmen. In the 2nd ODI, the Indian bowlers leaked runs which allowed South African batsmen to capitalise on scoring big. So here is the BIG question? Should have the selectors picked Zaheer Khan for the ODI’s too?

In an interview with a published paper, former South African speedster Makhaya Ntini questioned Zaheer’s absence from the ODI squad. He said, “Why? He is still your best bowler, he should have been there for the ODIs as well. It’s totally about the length when you bowl on these pitches. Zaheer has played quite a few matches here and he knows what’s the right length on tracks like these. He troubled us a lot the last time they played here.” Ntini was quoted.

‘Zak’ who has scalped 282 wickets in 200 ODI games played for India so far, was part of the 2011 World Cup winning team and was also a key member of the same. Ntini says, “Zaheer should be used the way Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralitharan were used towards the latter stages of their careers. His presence can truly make a difference.” And it will, just ask Graeme Smith!

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