Picture of Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan

Batting style:
Right Handed bat
Bowling style:
Left-arm fast medium
Played for:
India, Asia XI, India A, India Red, India Seniors, Rest of India, Surrey, Worcestershire, West Zone, Bangalore, Mumbai, Mumbai, Baroda
Roles played:
ICC Rank:
Home country:
October 07, 1978, Shrirampur, Maharashtra, India


When he first arrived on the scene in 2000, Zaheer Khan, with his lively pace and ability to spear in toe-crushing yorkers, was a phenomenon like none that India had seen before. Now, a decade on, he continues to live up to that promise, becoming one of the best bowlers of his generation.

At 21, the left-armer made a big move when he sacrificed a career in engineering to pursue one on the cricketing field. Zaheer started playing for Baroda in 1999 and only a year into domestic cricket, he was called up to the Indian side. He made an impressive start against Kenya in the 'ICC Knockout Trophy', picking up 3 wickets on debut and was brilliant throughout the tournament, playing a major role in India's road to the final. He was immediately included into the Test side and thereafter became a regular fixture in the Indian squad. A brilliant 2002 season, capped by 89 wickets, earned him a large amount of respect on the international stage. However, in 2003-04, a hamstring injury which was later found out to be a nerve-twitch, hampered his progress. The selectors continued to rest their faith in him but form and fitness combined with the emergence of competition in the form of Sreesanth and RP Singh, meant that he wasn't assured of a place in the side anymore.

Zaheer's tumultuous tale reached its climax in 2006 when he was dropped after the Pakistan series and was demoted to a C-Grade contract by the BCCI. He then came up with a befitting reply, scalping 78 wickets for Worcestershire, forcing his way back into the Indian team. A leaner, fitter 'Zak' emerged with a shortened run up and a revamped bowling action to lead India's attack with renewed vigor. His fight-back began in South Africa and was followed up by a historic Test series triumph in England where he ended up as the highest wicket-taker.

He spearheaded the bowling attack for India in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and was the team's most successful fast bowler. He contributed significantly towards the team's magnificent win with his timely wicket-taking stints.

With a perfect seam position and an ability to swing the ball both ways, Zaheer is a destructive bowler who any team would yearn to call their own. That, coupled with his lethal reverse swing with the old ball explains why the Baroda lad has become one of the most feared bowlers in world cricket. Zaheer Khan with his current achievements is already an inspiration to budding Indian quickies. Another dip in form in late 2012 saw Zaheer miss out to the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed and injuries didn't help as well. In spite of predictions from cricket gurus that Zaheer's career was done and dusted, he received another call-up to the Test squad to tour South Africa in December 2013 and he himself believes that he is far from over.

Playing in the Indian T20 League has been a bit of a train-like journey for Zak hopping between Mumbai and Bangalore. He started in 2008 with the Bangalore franchise but then moved to Mumbai for the next two seasons. He moved back to Bangalore in 2011 and once again has returned back to Mumbai for the 2014 season.

Fast Facts

  • Zaheer Khan is India's most successful fast bowler after Kapil Dev in Tests.
  • He became the third Indian bowler to have taken more than 150 Test wickets outside India.
  • He was India's highest wicket taker in the 2003 WC.
  • In county cricket, Zaheer became the first Worcestershire player to take 10 wickets in a match on debut for over 100 years.
  • He was the highest wicket-taker in the year 2007 picking up an astonishing 81 wickets in Tests and ODIs.
  • Against Australia in 2008, Zaheer became the third Indian after Rusi Surti and Kapil Dev to score a half century and take five wickets in an innings in the same match.


  Matches Innings Runs NO Avg. SR 100's 50's HS
Test 92 127 1231 24 11.95 51.70 0 3 75
ODI 200 101 792 35 12.00 73.46 0 0 34*
T20 17 4 13 2 6.50 130.00 0 0 9
IPL 65 23 99 13 9.90 91.66 0 0 23*
CLT20 4 2 0 2 - 0.00 0 0 0
  Matches Innings Balls Runs Wickets BBI BBM Avg. Econ. 4w 5w 10w Extras
Test 92 165 18785 10247 311 7/87 / 32.94 3.27 15 11 1 370
ODI 200 197 10097 8301 282 5/42 / 29.43 4.93 7 1 0 440
T20 17 17 352 448 17 4/19 / 26.35 7.63 1 0 0 19
IPL 65 64 1442 1853 71 4/17 / 26.09 7.71 1 0 0 51
CLT20 4 4 96 131 3 1/17 / 43.66 8.18 0 0 0 6
  Catches Stumpings Runouts
Test 19 0 5
ODI 43 0 6
T20 2 0 0
IPL 17 0 1
CLT20 1 0 0


India Vs Bangladesh at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka - Nov 10, 2000
Last played:
India Vs New Zealand at Basin Reserve, Wellington - Feb 14, 2014
India Vs Kenya at Nairobi Gymkhana Club Ground, Nairobi - Oct 03, 2000
Last played:
India Vs Sri Lanka at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy - Aug 04, 2012
India Vs South Africa at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg - Dec 01, 2006
Last played:
India Vs South Africa at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo - Oct 02, 2012
Bangalore Vs Kolkata at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore - Karnataka - Apr 18, 2008
Last played:
Mumbai Vs Kolkata at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi - Apr 16, 2014
Mumbai Vs Highveld Lions at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg - Sep 10, 2010
Last played:
Mumbai Vs Bangalore at Kingsmead, Durban - Sep 19, 2010