India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan on Thursday opted out of the upcoming home Test series against South Africa, saying he was not fully fit for international cricket.
Khan, 29, has not played for India since the first Test against Australia in Melbourne in December, due to an ankle injury and underwent rehabilitation at a Johannesburg sports medicine centre.
Speaking to rediff.com Zaheer, who will represent the Rahul Dravid-led Bangalore Royal Challengers in the inaugural Indian Premier League next month said, "I'll certainly not be playing the first Test against South Africa."
The left-armer felt he is well ahead of his recovery schedule but needs to play a few matches in order to gauge his fitness.
"In a Test match one needs to bowl at least 35 overs over a period of five days which means putting too much stress on my heel. I am not ready for it now," said Zaheer.
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Video courtesy: ANI