5. Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan has been the spearhead of Indian bowling for nearly a decade. The Baroda player who made his debut in 2000 against Kenya. His performance in the Champions Trophy, specifically the full toss that clean bowled Steve Waugh and his inch-perfect yorkers, made a big impression on world cricket. He was immediately compared with the Pakistani greats, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram.
Here is how Zaheer began his career.
Lack of control on his line and length meant he was extremely wayward early on. His opening over in the World Cup Final 2003 against Australia went for 15 runs and set the tone for the Indians. A hamstring injury saw him being dropped from the Indian team in 2005. He signed up with Worcestershire, worked on his fitness, and made a comeback in 2006 against South Africa at Johannesburg. Cutting back on his pace and concentrating more on reverse swing, Zaheer has a dream comeback. His spell against England in Nottinghamshire apart from other great spells culminated with him being declared as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2008. Another injury in 2010 seems as if Zaheer would be out of the World Cup 2011 in India. Missing much of the 2010/11 season, Zaheer returns to the team for the World Cup ,where is ability to swing the ball in both directions with the new ball and more importantly his cutters and reverse swing in the middle overs and powerplays, is instrumental in India’s successful campaign. Life comes a full circle with his 2 maiden overs against the Lankans in the final and India lifts the 2011 World Cup.