“We’ll look at him (Rohit) at practice today and he’s available for selection. It is a very positive sign for us. We’ll have a better gauge of things after practice,” Khan said.
The team had signed on Zaheer as director of cricket operations with the added purpose of guiding their pace attack as well. One of India’s premier fast bowlers, Zaheer is impressed by MI’s pace bowling stock, especially this season.
Leading the MI attack is India’s strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who has improved by leaps and bounds every season.
“For me, the way to judge a bowler is how he plans things and how he approaches the nets before the matches. Bumrah is right up there when it comes to these things. The last 4-5 years show his progress. He’s always trying out things, making use of all resources which include talking to senior bowlers, making use of technology, watching videos and talking to batsmen. He is clear about his processes,” Zaheer said about the MI strike bowler.
The 40-year-old Mumbai left-armer, who played 92 Tests and 200 ODIs for India, was impressed by what he had seen of young West Indian Alzarri Joseph.
“Joseph has got very good head on his shoulders and is a very balanced guy. He doesn't like to show emotions much. You have to give credit to Rohit (Sharma), he was keen on bringing Joseph into the setup early. Rohit was very clear that Joseph was someone who will be good fit in our group,” the MI director of cricket said about Joseph.
“Joseph has had a dream debut and has a long road ahead of him. He’s a wonderful athlete,” he added.
With MI’s next match starting in the afternoon at 4pm, Zaheer expects wrist spinners from both sides to play a big role in the contest. While Mumbai have leg-spinner Rahul Chahar to call on, the Royals will bank on their leggie Shreyas Gopal who has already taken the prize wickets of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers earlier this season.
“There is huge competition between the wrist spinners right now. Gopal has been successful, getting best of batsmen out and I am sure our batsmen will be up for the challenge. It’s an afternoon game, so we expect spinners from both sides will be in play.
“We are expecting good things from Rahul Chahar as well. He has been in great form in domestic and has shown wicket-taking ability especially in the middle-overs which is very crucial even in T20s,” Zaheer said on Friday.
Finally, asked about the umpiring standards, especially when it comes to adjudicating on the no-balls, Zaheer said, “Lot of things in umpiring have improved but there is room for more improvement. Umpiring is not an easy job and the more pressure you put on umpires, it gets even more tougher which we all need to be aware of.
“In this tournament we have seen instances which have gone little out of hand but as long as umpiring is consistent through the game, then it's ok. Line calls are referred to third umpire and measures have been taken. As long as everyone is working towards improvement, it should be ok,” he added.
First Published: April 13, 2019, 6:10 AM IST