Ashish Nehra has been recalled in the national team for Australia series after five years and he has become important bowler of India for the Asia Cup and World T20 2016. He said that he believes in his mantra – to never give up. It has motivated him to focus on the job and work hard.
The left arm pacer made an impressive comeback in the international cricket after five years but he did not want to term it as a dream come true.
“I won’t call this a dream coming true. I have been working hard for the last 3-4 years, and the kind of performances I have given in the Champions League or the IPL, I was expecting this, as T20 World Cup was coming up. People are saying it is a dream coming true because I hadn’t played for 3-4 years.”
Nehra said that as a senior most player he will always support and share an experience with junior bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah. “It’s a good feeling to be very honest that somebody 14-15 years younger than you is part of the team. Whatever my experience is I try to share with him and will definitely learn new things from him also, because from any bowler who is 22-23, you learn new things, even in international cricket.”
He further said that if he can inspire young bowlers or bowlers like him who are bowling in domestic cricket he will be very happy. Recently Irfan Pathan said that if Nehra can get a call from selectors he is still eligible for India. “if I can inspire young bowlers and other fast bowlers playing in the domestic circuit, I will be very happy. Now with the kind of performances I have given in the IPL and all the T20 tournaments, with the T20 World Cup coming, the selectors just wanted to have a look at me if I can deliver in Australia so that they can pick me for the T20 World Cup,” Nehra said.
He said ‘age is just a number for him’. But when he was asked did he really think age is just a number he said, “there are so many people who say T20 is a young man’s game. I don’t believe in that – even in Test cricket. I mean, fast bowling in Test cricket obviously is difficult at the age of 36-37. But even if you see a spinner or batsman, even in Test cricket, not only in T20s, the more experience you get, you get better. But fast bowling, like I said, it’s very physical. So then there has to be some age or some limit. It’s a mental thing also. But obviously it doesn’t matter how strong you are mentally, your body can take only that much.”
Talking about his performance in IPL for now suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Nehra said that faith of captain on bowlers always helps a bowler to bowl in difficult situations.
“When the captain is trusting you, it’s really good. It means he will always give you the bowling in tough situations, like in the first six overs in T20s and the last few overs. So I was very happy. That thing used to give me a lot of confidence, that the captain is showing faith in me.”
He was also asked about the difference between bowling in T20 and ODI. “There’s a massive difference. T20 is a very quick game. From ball one you have to be on the button like you have to be really warmed up. Even if you are bowling well, good length deliveries go for fours or sixes. So you have to be right on top of your game from ball one. So in ODIs, with the kind of wickets. These days you can see even in Australia or England, everywhere worldwide, like four fielders outside the circle till the 40th over, that also has just changed…now in last 10 overs the old rule has come back, so there is some relief for the bowlers. But yes, in 50 overs you still have some time to pull back; in T20s, you don’t have that time. From ball one you have to be right on the target. I myself feel at times that I have bowled good two or three overs up front, but still you see in those three overs you have given away 30 runs. Those things will happen. In T20s, 7 or 8 runs per over, especially in first six overs, is no big deal.”
With the Asia Cup and World T20 knocking at the door, Nehra will have a huge responsibility as the most senior bowler in the team.