While several experts have predicted the end of the road for the senior India cricketers who failed to make the cut in the World Cup probables announced yesterday, Zaheer Khan's mentor Sudhir Naik is certainly not losing hope.
"No way… Zaheer is not yet finished. He still has a lot of to offer. He is definitely not giving up hopes of playing international cricket again," Naik told mid-day.
India's senior-most paceman hasn't played any domestic matches ever since he injured his shoulder in the last Indian Premier League.
Zaheer, who was part of the 2011 World Cup-winning campaign, has been harbouring hopes of playing the 2015 edition and also completing 100 Tests for which he is eight short.
"The World Cup dream maybe over because of the injury. He had informed the selectors that he is not 100 per cent fit," said Naik.
It is understood that although Zaheer has started bowling in the nets, the 36-year-old pacer is still experiencing pain while bowling the yorker.
Targetting IPL return
Sources close to him said the left-arm pacer is targeting IPL-8 for his return. "He may also aim to play Ranji Trophy for Mumbai in the knockouts, if fit by then," said the source.