Don''t want to predict anything: Zaheer

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Unlike many of the past andpresent day international cricketers including his teammates,India''s pace spearhead Zaheer Khan prefers to steer clear ofplaying the prediction game ahead of the forthcoming WorldCup.

"Personally speaking, I don''t want to predict anything,"Zaheer said when asked for his take on the best team goinginto the quadrennial extravaganza starting February 19 in thesub-continent.

"I just want to follow the process," he added.

The left-arm seamer though felt that playing with amore or less unchanged squad for the past few years is likelyto benefit India in the World Cup.

"We have the same bunch of guys playing together and thatis of great help in terms of building that team atmosphere inthe dressing room and getting that momentum in thetournament," Zaheer explained.

As discussions turned to Yuvraj Singh and HarbhajanSingh, who will be playing their third World Cup along withthe seamer, Zaheer thanked both of them for supporting himwhen he needed it the most.

"They have supported me even when I was stuck withinjuries and stuff like that. It''s good that we are playingour third World Cup together and it''s going to be a specialone.

"We go a long way and it''s been a pleasure playing withthem. They have been my very good friends," Zaheer said.

A lot has been made about India''s tendency to buckle whenput under pressure in front of the home crowd, but Zaheerseemed unperturbed.

"Pressure of expectations is always going to be there.

It''s good that we are playing in front of our home crowd,"Zaheer told NDTV.

"That''s why I say that it''s going to be special in termsof many things and a lot of us are going to cherish thememories of this World Cup for years to come. Hopefully, wewill get everything together," Zaheer said.

The series in South Africa, Zaheer said, put to rest hisconcerns about injuries.

"The last six months, I was a little concerned about theniggle which I was having. But I am glad that I have picked upthe momentum at the right time.

"I was not able to get that match practice under my beltfor various reasons. I always like it when playing matches,keeping that match fitness and bowling fitness going," hesaid.

"Except one Test, I have played the rest of the series inSouth Africa, so I am feeling confident," Zaheer added.

Asked about the tri-coloured ponytail he is sporting oflate, Zaheer said: "To keep it short, I am proud to be anIndian." PTI AH SSC

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