Mohammed Azharuddin Believes Ashish Nehra Could Have Played More Tests
Ashish Nehra announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Thursday and will play his last international on 1st November against New Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. It will be the first T20 of the three-match series. Nehra made his international debut in 1999 in a Test match against Sri Lanka. However, he found most of the success in the 50 over format. The most significant highlight of his career has been his spell in the 2003 World Cup against England where he finished with the figures of 6 for 23. These are the best figures for an Indian fast bowler in a World Cup.
Nehra made his debut under the captaincy of Mohammed Azharuddin in 1999. Azhar feels that Nehra could have played more Tests in his career. He has only played 17 Tests in his career, last being in 2004. He has taken 44 wickets in his Test career. He has played 120 One Day Internationals picking up 157 wickets, as far his T20 career is concerned he has picked up 34 wickets in 26 T20 internationals. Azhar lauded his decision to retire and said that he knew about his retirement, he said:
“I knew about his retirement because I met him a few days back, before he joined the team for the ongoing series. He told me he was going to retire. I think he has taken a good decision. The way he played with so many injuries is remarkable. He is an outstanding bowler. But I think he should have played more Test cricket.”
For a fast bowler, it’s quite an achievement for Ashish Nehra to have a career which has spanned for 18 long years. He said,
“As a bowler, I feel he was restricted to ODI cricket. He had the ability to play more Tests for his natural strengths — in-swing, out-swing and then, he also developed pace. Unfortunately, he lost out on injuries. He underwent some 10 to 12 operations.”
He has also praised Ashish Nehra as a great human being,
“At the end of the day, you are known for your cricket but at the same time, you must also remember a person who has been this humble throughout his career. He has been nice to everyone.”
Being Nehra’s first captain, he recalled the time when he had picked up Nehra for the first time in the squad. He added:
“When I took his name in the selection committee meeting, many people were surprised that I knew him. He was a budding cricketer and I thought he had the right attitude and deserved a chance. He bowled reasonably well in that Test. He was raw and got a wicket (that of Marvan Atapattu) as well.”
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