Zaheer Khan ( झहीर खान) (born 7 October 1978, Shrirampur town in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra), is an Indian cricketer who has been a member of the Indian cricket team since 2000.
A left arm Fast bowler considered as the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack, Zaheer is known for his ability to swing the ball both ways, and as a batsman also holds the record for the highest Test score by a No. 11. After leading the Indian pace attack for much of the early 2000s, recurring hamstring injuries in 2003 and 2004 forced him out of the team, and after returning for a year, he was dropped again in late 2005. Strong performances on the domestic circuit have seen him recalled to the team as its leading pace bowler.Zaheer is also a pioneer in the art of reverse swing bowling
Zaheer was selected in 2000 for the first intake of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, He made his Test debut against Bangladesh at Dhaka and ODI debut against Kenya at Nairobi during the ICC KnockOut Trophy in the same year.
In late 2005 pacemen Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and R. P. Singh made their international debuts and became regular members of the Indian team making it difficult for Zaheer to retain his position in the playing eleven. The Board of Control for Cricket in India demoted Zaheer from a B-grade to a C-grade contract at the end of the year.
He has taken over 250 ODI wickets at an average of 29 runs per wicket taking 4 wickets in a match 6 times (4 times against Zimbabwe) including 32 wickets against Zimbabwe at an average of 17.46 runs per dismissal. He, along with other seamers like Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra helped India to make it to the finals of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Zaheer finished the 2003 World cup as 4th highest wicket taker - 18 wickets from 11 matches at an average of 20 runs per wicket. Zaheer will be the mainstay of Indian bowling attack considering the inexperience in the squad during the Cricket World Cup 2011.