Australia will want to win for Phillip Hughes: Zaheer Khan

Injured pacer Zaheer reckons hosts will mean business in Adelaide next week

Will cricket be the same again? That’s a question cricket lovers are asking after the death of Australia’s Phillip Hughes.

Australia captain Michael Clarke and spinner Nathan Lyon
Australia captain Michael Clarke and spinner Nathan Lyon celebrate after winning the Ashes series 5-0 in Sydney on January 5, 2014. Pic/Getty Images.

Considering the enormity of the tragedy caused by the bouncer, they are left wondering whether there will be a drop in intensity when the Australians tackle India in the first Test of the 2014-15 Border Gavaskar Trophy at Adelaide on December 9.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

Michael Clarke & Co may not be in the best frame of mind when they take the field for the first time since their teammate departed last week, but India paceman Zaheer Khan does not expect the Aussies to go easy on the visitors. “It is hard to move on after what has happened to Hughes. The whole cricketing world is in shock but the game must go on. I am sure even Hughes would have wanted to see that.

“Sometimes it (such an accident) can work as a great motivator. Hughes was passionate about his game and the Aussies might want to win (the Test series) for him,” Zaheer, currently nursing a shoulder injury, told mid-day yesterday.

Zaheer, who has claimed 25 wickets in seven Tests over three Test tours Down Under, expects a tough challenge in the four-Test series. “It is going to be tough. Every cricketer looks forward to learn something from an Australia tour. The conditions are very challenging.

“Our overseas record hasn’t been impressive (India have won only one overseas Test in the last three years). We did well to win at Lord’s (in July), but from there on, it was downhill. It will be a tough tour but if we get the momentum going then anything can happen,” said Zaheer.

Watch out for Umesh
The pace attack boasts of at least three bowlers — Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami — who can bowl 140kmph-plus. Zaheer, however, singled out Yadav, who is on his second tour to Australia as a dangerman.

“Umesh has great potential and he’ll be the guy to watch out for. I hope he is in the playing XI from Day One of the series,” Zaheer signed off.

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