Virender Sehwag has asserted that he was not surprised that Ashish Nehra made the cut for the Indian T20I squad to play Australia since his fitness results are almost at par with Virat Kohli. Sehwag also added that fitness was now a major criterion in the selection procedure for the Indian team.
Nehra's inclusion in the 15-man squad for the T20 series raised some eyebrows since the veteran pacer, at the age of 38, is now at the fag end of his career. However, his childhood friend and once teammate Sehwag stated that Nehra had scored "17-18" in the yo-yo test and earlier reports had suggested that Kohli had managed 19 on his test, only to be beaten by Manish Pandey with 19.2.
“I was not at all surprised with Nehra’s selection in the T20I team against Australia. I am very happy that he is a part of the team and I want him to play more matches in future,” Sehwag told India TV.
“The secret behind Nehra’s fitness is when is not playing international cricket, he spends almost 8 hours in the gym (two sessions of 4 hours each). And if today he is a part of the T20 team, it is because he has passed the ‘yo-yo’ test. He scored almost 17-18 in the yo-yo test, touching Virat Kohli’s score.
“Nehra is a fast bowler and never faces any issues while running. So, he doesn’t endure
The biggest question that arises now is whether the 38-year-old can maintain his fitness long enough to take part in the 2020 T20 World Cup. Nehra will not only be in a race against age but also against fellow competitors, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, and Mohammed Shami among others for a place in the squad.
“I don’t think age should be the criteria to play in the world cup. If Nehra is fit, picking up wickets and giving away
“We have seen in reports that many players, including Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, have not cleared the yo-yo test. And probably this is the reason why they are not part of the team. I think Yuvraj and Raina should focus on clearing the yo-yo test because if they pass the test, they will be a part of the team,” Sehwag explained.
“Fitness is the mantra for every cricketer. If you remain fit, you will be a hit. I don’t think there’s any unfit player in the current Indian team.”
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