38-year-old Ashish Nehra was a surprise pick in India’s T20 squad and the pace bowler believes that his impressive performance in the last IPL made a case for him. Nehra also stated that he is fortunate to have Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar alongside him in a formidable pace attack.
Nehra was definitely a surprise selection in India’s squad for the upcoming T20 series against Australia. The Delhi paceman has seen his illustrative career cut short by various recurring injuries throughout the years, which even prevented him from playing in the 2011 World Cup final that India won. However, the 38-year-old kept going and his mature and intelligent bowling has helped him being a regular in various Indian Premier League sides over the years. Nehra believes that his performance in the T20 league has helped his selection greatly.
Despite his IPL 10 season being hampered by injuries, Nehra managed to pick up six wickets in eight games for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Speaking in an interview with Mid-Day, Nehra said, “I performed well in the last IPL so I think the selectors must have seen that. I don’t feel I will be out of sorts against Australia.”
He also shed light on the ‘embarrassment’ he felt when people called up to congratulate him on his selection.
“After all, I am 38 years of age. They inquired whether I would be able to play the Twenty20 series and I said yes. These days, I cannot play all formats, but I think I will be able to deliver in the forthcoming series,” Nehra added.
The veteran pace bowler had made his debut back in 1999 against Sri Lanka in Colombo and has gone on to play 163 international games for India across all formats. His last T20I game was against England in Bengaluru in February earlier this year where he bowled three overs, gave away 24 runs and notched up a maiden.
On his preparations for the upcoming games, Nehra said, “I am taking it match-by-match, series by series. I think I will be able to bowl my quota of four overs to the best of my ability.”
Nehra has heaped praise on India’s emerging pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Kumar was his teammate of Nehra's at Sunrisers Hyderabad and their chemistry could work wonders for India.
“I am fortunate to have (Jasprit) Bumrah and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) in the pace department. Bumrah is the best in limited-overs business and the way he has bowled, he can be tried in Tests too,” he concluded.