Now 37 years old, Zaheer retired from international cricket last month, bringing the curtain down on a 14-year career in which he has taken 311 wickets from 92 Tests and 282 wickets from 200 One-day Internationals. Firstpost’s Jigar Mehta caught up with Zaheer last week at ProSport, the fast bowler’s fitness centre in Mumbai, to talk about all things fast bowling, the 2003 and 2011 World Cups and to discover which of Zaheer’s innings with the bat is his favourite.
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Below is Part I of the interview. Part II will be published on Thursday, 12 November. Over the years, things have changed. When I got onto the scene and started playing international cricket, I was obviously like any other young kid, wanting to bowl as fast as possible. That’s what the approach was. As I was playing more and more at the international level, I quickly realised that there is a decent amount of skill which I should be focusing on in terms of movement.
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The first season is generally an easy one because you are new to the batsman. It’s in the second season that the batters actually get to know your strengths and weaknesses with the help of technology, and certain patterns you develop. It’s a process which goes on for any one. Right through your career, just keep evolving as a cricketer. It’s the same thing with the batsmen as well. You always have to keep adding to your armoury.