CRICKET Updated: Oct 09, 2019 16:10 IST
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan replied to Hardik Pandya’s cheeky birthday wish by reminding him of the ‘next ball’ he faced in the same domestic match.
A friendly banter? An unnecessary comment on a public platform? Call it whatever you want but it was hard to ignore Hardik Pandya’s birthday wish for Zaheer Khan. The topic trended for quite some time and with Zaheer Khan’s even more cheeky reply to Hardik Pandya, it is more or less certain to remain in the news for a few more days.
Just like his helicopters and slower bouncers, took different route to wish former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan on his 41st birthday. Instead of congratulating on his career, Pandya decided to upload a video of him hitting a six off Zaheer during a domestic competition. Hardik’s post read: “Happy birthday Zak … Hope you smash it out of the park like I did there.”
Hardik’s wish drew a lot of criticism from netizens with many of coming down heavily on the all-rounder for lack of respect for a senior pro like Zaheer.
Zaheer however, took the ‘wish’ on his stride and reminded Pandya about the ‘next delivery’ he bowled to the all-rounder in the same match.
“Hahahaha….thank you for the wishes @hardikpandya7 my batting skills can never be as good as yours but the birthday was as good as the next delivery you faced from me in this match,” tweeted Zaheer a day after his birthday.
Zaheer and Pandya have not played together for India but they have worked together for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Zaheer was appointed as the Director of Cricket for the three-time champions in 2018.
Hardik recently underwent a successful surgery in London for an acute lower-back injury. “Baby steps.. but my road to full fitness begins here and now. Thank you to everyone for their support and wishes, it means a lot,” tweeted Hardik to give an update about his recovery.
Hardik is expected to be out of action for five months. The Baroda all-rounder is the second key member in the Indian after premier speedster Jasprit Bumrah, who has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series against South Africa due to stress fracture in his lower back.
Hardik played the T20I series against South Africa before being ruled out of the Test series because of the injury. He will miss the T20Is against Bangladesh as well. Hardik first sustained the injury during the Asia Cup in UAE last September. He recovered in time to play in the IPL and the World Cup before the injury resurfaced.