Do we miss his presence in the Indian cricket team? Yes, sure we do.

The reasons?

This reverse swing expert was capable of turning the old ball at such odd angles that even the most established batsmen could not help but surrender to his guile. A master proponent of the craft of fast bowling who pitched most difficult yorkers, in Zaheer Khan, India found a bowler who could fill in the void created after Kapil Dev's retirement.

Zaheer, fondly known as 'Zak', made his international debut in the year 2000 against Bangladesh in Tests and Kenya in ODIs, but constant struggles with form and fitness saw him ousted from the national squad. In 2003, he was selected to be a part of India's World Cup team and helped the side with his sharp, intelligent bowling.

Although, the final against Australia proved to be his biggest nightmare where his skipper did not give him the full quota of 10 overs, and off the seven overs he bowled he conceded 67 runs, almost 10 runs an over.

Following this disastrous performance, Zaheer was shown the way out, only to make a comeback in 2007 after a successful season with Worcestershire County Cricket Club. His excellence with the ball during the West Indies and Sri Lanka tours of 2007 made him India's go-to man during crucial times.

The 2011 World Cup proved to be the highest point of his career. Along with Shahid Afridi, he became the leading wicket taker of the tournament, helping India in its winning cause.

However, his days in the sun did not last for too long and injuries accompanied with weight resulted in his abrupt retirement in 2015 after a long struggle to comeback and prove his worth.

Now that we see him captaining Delhi Daredevils in the IPL season 9, all these memories are evoked and we just hope that he is able to turn the fortunes of a team which has only disappointed with its performance in the IPL since its inception.

By: Ira Shukla

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