Ashish Nehra unperturbed by Twitter jokes on him

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Ashish Nehra unperturbed by Twitter jokes on him

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SportsCafe Desk


Age-defying Ashish Nehra isn't bothered by what is being written about him on various social medias and conveniently, choses to ignore them to keep his focus on the game. The 38-year-old also wants to keep his eye on “one game at a time” and doesn’t want to set long-term goals.

Nehra has always been a subject of ridicule on social media - be it for his constant break-downs due to injuries, or his awkward run-up, or for conceding too many runs in the death overs, he has always been mocked. And most of the times, quite unfairly. While many cricketers would have lost their breath over it, the willy Delhi pacer is obviously not one among them. 

"I don't even know what people say about me on Twitter. Now people may have a notion that since I am not visible on social media and now that I am in the team, where was I during the period. Well, I was religiously following my training schedule, working on my fitness, doing my bowling routines. Things you actually do to make a comeback," Nehra told Times of India.

"Oh yes, people didn't know where I was but skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad were well aware what I was doing."

Nehra was not part of the one-off T2OI against the Windies and the Sri Lankan one-off T20I recently. The 38-year-old, however, featured in every game during India's last bilateral T20I series against England in February. His performances, however, were much in contrast to what was expected by the critics and he spearheaded the Indian bowling line-up and became a guide for the young pacers in the team.

"Who isn't happy if he is playing for India? I have never been bothered by criticism. The Indian dressing room knows what I bring to the table. The skipper knows it, the selectors know it. If I am in the team, definitely, I must be contributing something," Nehra said.

"At my age, you don't set long-term goals. I have been selected to play three games for India. I will take one game at a time. Waise bhiAshish Nehraacchakaregatohbhi news hai, acchanahikaregatohwohaurbhibadi news hain (If I do well, that's news, if I don't do well, that's even bigger news)."

Pace, accuracy, subtle variations of line and length, an ability to move the ball off the wicket and a devastating late in-swinger made Nehra a bowler a captain can always rely on, but sometimes, the comparison with his former fellow left-armerZaheer Khan downed his credentials a bit. On being asked about it, the Delhi pacer spoke about how his approach to fast bowling has been different from Zaheer.

"With Zak, you have to take into account he was playing Tests throughout his career. He had to bowl a lot of overs and that required him to conserve energy carefully. Also, he had such an economic action, he could bowl at 80 percent pace but with superb skill-sets disturb the batsmen.

"If you look at me, I have been playing T20s for quite some time now. With my action, which is not the smoothest, I cannot bowl at 80 percent when all I have is 24 balls in a match. Another aspect is that this is my action which has helped me generate the kind of pace I do at this age," Nehra explained.

Nehra made his international debut in February 1999 under the leadership of Mohammed Azharuddin and since has played 26 T20 Internationals apart from 120 ODIs and 17 Test matches. 

"Come February 2018, I will complete 19 years in international cricket. Save myself and Harbhajan Singh, I don't think there is any player, who made their debuts under Mohammed Azharuddin. There has to be some kind of motivation that keeps a sportsman going.

"And this stage of my career, I don't need to play for money. I have had 12 surgeries. Ask any sportsman, what it takes to recover from one and here I have been under the knife 12 times. Still in the morning, when I wake up, I am keen to go for training. That's the motivation," he signed off.

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