India’s express pace department has not seen a lot of bowlers have long careers in the spotlight owing to injuries or a lack of fitness. There have been legendary bowlers who have managed to represent India excellently for many years but only a handful who have had long careers. One such player who has however managed to salvage a successful career and resurrected himself despite such a high level of intensity has been Ashish Nehra.
The elder statesman now of the Indian team, Nehra has had a long and illustrious career spanning nearly two decades with the team. How has he managed to do so?
While this isn’t something that is looked into, Nehra’s smooth action means that he is able to generate a good amount of pace and can pitch the ball in the right areas. Despite his multiple injuries over the years, where he has gotten at least 12 surgeries, Nehra has still been able to find a place because of his ability with the ball.
He might not have the fitness to steam in and bowl 10 overs in an ODI match, but being the wily and experienced customer that he is, Nehra has managed to make the 4 overs during a T20 count and has still found a spot in the Indian team.
His smooth action allows him to nip the ball back and set the field according to his strengths. He has the ability to get some swing away from the batsman that can lead to them getting a thick edge that could fly to slip.
Good fitness levels:
Ashish Nehra also revealed in a recent interview that he eats right and that helps him stay match fit. With the new-age of Indians watching their diets, Nehra too has taken a leaf out of the youngsters’ books and has decided to eat healthy in order to keep up with the rigours of the international arena. He has shown that he does not let his intensity drop during the 20 overs that he is out there.
This is a very important aspect because at the age of 38, it is very easy to get exhausted considering the amount of cricket that Nehra has played in his career and the amount of injuries he has had. Also, his jovial nature allows him to be at ease around the other players and express himself despite the huge age gap between most of the players and himself.
Here’s wishing Ashish Nehra aka Nehra Ji plays till he is 40 and kicking!
By Rohit Nair