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Zaheer deserves a lot of credit

Special Correspondent

— Photo: K.R. Deepak

GREAT SHOW: Zaheer Khan claimed his tenth

MOHALI: Harbhajan Singh said Zaheer Khan, who claimed his tenth five-wicket haul in Tests on Saturday, was one of India's best new-ball bowlers, in the same league as Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath.

“Zak bowled his heart out today, he deserves a lot of credit for his performance,” said Harbhajan.

“It was amazing, he'll surely be remembered as one of the greats who bowled [fast] for India, like Kapil Dev and also Javagal Srinath. Taking wickets on this track — there's no carry — is very difficult. He's very smart with reverse swing.”

Asked about the exchange between Zaheer and Ricky Ponting on day one, Harbhajan said, “What Zak told me that he and Laxman were playing with each other, and Zak called Laxman Usain Bolt. Ponting might have overheard it — I don't know if he called him or he called Laxman — and so he came and asked, ‘what did you say?'

I don't know what happened; I'm just telling what I heard from Zak.”

Harbhajan said Virender Sehwag's dismissal late on the second day was unfortunate, but that the match was still even.

“Viru looks to dominate, it doesn't matter whether he's playing in Perth, Mohali, Sydney or England, and he wins a lot of games,” said Harbhajan. “It would have been nice if he was still there, but we have Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Laxman, Raina, Dhoni, and myself, we have a lot of batting.”

Tim Paine, who made 92 over nearly five hours, said Sehwag's innings was great to watch. “But it's also very frustrating, I mean when you have batted like I had and then he comes out and hits it to all parts. He's obviously a class player.”

Paine said his innings had made him feel like he belonged at the highest level. “In these conditions, it's as hard as I've had to work. They bowled well and set good fields, so it was difficult to score. It's something I can look back on when I'm going through tough times.”

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