Ashish Nehra’s old-school charm still bowls over – Birthday Special
Ashish Nehra, the veteran Indian pacer, has made yet another successful comeback to the national side after battling injuries, competition and inconsistent form, bagging 18 wickets in 15 matches, at an economy of 7.01 since his return.
26 Feb 2003 – Bowling under lights at durban, a left arm Indian seamer completely destroyed English middle order as they were struggling for single run and he completed his quota of 10 overs producing one of the finest exhibition of seam and swing bowling ever produced by an Indian bowler – the best ever ( 10-2-23-6 ) by any Indian till date in the history of World Cup. India eventually won the match by huge margin of 82 runs and Ashish Nehra registered his name in history forever. In that same world cup, he also bowled at 149.7 km/h – fastest by any Indian bowler at that time. Two years later, he again picked up 6 wickets against Sri Lanka at kandy and thus, became only bowler from India to take 6 wickets twice in ODI. His surprise inclusion in World Cup Semifinal 2011 after missing out most of the games where he ended up being most economical bowler against Pakistan – is also noteworthy.
But due to dodgy fitness, he never remained regular member of Indian squad and even after recovery it was always unsure that when next breakdown will appear. Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Ishant Sharma,Sreesanth,Praveen Kumar – lot of seamer always gave him competition each time he recovered but he never gave up. He kept playing domestic, IPL and kept performing. After picking 22 wickets for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2015, he joked being ignored by selectors “I don’t know what has happened. Whether it is my face, I don’t know”. Finally after 6 months, he made comeback into Indian T20 squad for Australia tour at the age of 36. He kept his fine form in Asia Cup and World T20 as well. He was only among 2 Indians along with Virat Kohli to make entry into “WT20 – Team of the tournament” proving Age is just a number.
We wish him all the good luck and bright future on his Birthday.