12 Facts about Ashish Nehra: The Comeback King

12 Facts about Ashish Nehra: The Comeback King

Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra. (© Getty Images)

Ashish Nehra has always been a comeback king of sorts. While injuries have plagued his cricketing career, for the most part, Nehra simply hasn’t given up. Each time he has made a comeback, Nehra has been much more lethal as he has ever been. An important member of the Indian bowling unit early on in his career, he has faded in and faded back into oblivion with a troublesome ankle.  That said, on his 37th birthday, we take a look at India’s grand old bowler

1. Birth:

Ashish Nehra was born on the 29th of April 1979 in Delhi.

2. 64 Reasons:

In all his cricketing career, Nehra has been associated with just one number. 64. While it is a number many people find puzzling, it is a number that signifies the tall and lanky pacer. The reasons for sporting the number, however, is yet to be revealed.

3. A ‘Real’ left-arm pacer:

While there have been many left-arm pacers over the years, Ashish Nehra has always embodied the persona of the ‘real’ left-arm pacer. Although there were absolutely no fakes to begin with, Nehra has always been regarded as the real pacer. He embodies various virtues of a left- handed bowler- pace, accuracy, strategic variations in line and length, and the ability to swing the ball both ways. He has been particularly effective with the new ball and at the death overs.

4. The troublesome ankles:

Ashish Nehra’s ankles have caused multiple problems for him in the past. It is also believed that Nehra’s ankle injuries originate from the fact that he is a bowler who bends his back and releases the ball from a height in excess of 8 feet. While all these are just theories tossed around, his long spell injuries have seen him be part of just 2 World Cups and 2 World T20s in his career that has spanned for almost 17 years.

5. 2011 World Cup:

After having been left out of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, which ended rather disastrously for the Indians, Nehra made a comeback to the squad for the 2011 World Cup at home. Many, however, criticized the selection stating that it was coincidental due to the injuries to the likes of Praveen Kumar. His inclusion meant that he was once more partnering Zaheer Khan, his partner-in-crime in the 2003 World Cup. Nehra proved to be an important member of the side that lifted the World Cup despite being ruled out of the final courtesy of a hand injury.

6. A ‘Deeply Hurt’ recovery:

After managing to recover from his subsequent injury after the 2011 World Cup, Nehra wasn’t picked for the tour of England, a move that made him ‘deeply hurt’. Despite impressive performances in the Ranji Trophy, Nehra was left out of the Australian tour as well.

7. Ripping through the Poms:

The Poms usually refer to the finest of England’s batsmen. Playing against the cream of England batting at Durban, a fired-up Nehra took his career best figures in ODIs. He concluded with figures of 6/23 as the Indians disposed of the hapless Poms and advanced to the Super 6’s of the tournament.

8. Failure to embrace technology:

Ashish Nehra isn’t a part of any social media handle, something that makes all his fans love him even more. When asked how he wished to respond to the jovial tickles from Virender Sehwag on social media, the line of the century came out of his mouth: “I am not on social media because I still have my old Nokia.”

9. Your everyday superstar:

Similar to football legend Paul Scholes, Nehra is your regular average superstar. After his cricketing job is over, Nehra’s name is something that rarely comes up, proving that he is a family man outside cricket.

10. A plethora of IPL teams:

Ashish Nehra has plied his trade for five IPL teams in the last nine years of the competition. Having started out with the Mumbai Indians, Nehra has played for the Delhi Daredevils twice, the Pune Warriors, the Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He currently plays for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

11. ODI & Test debuts:

Nehra made his ODI and Test debuts against Zimbabwe in 2001 and Sri Lanka in 1999. His first Test wicket was that of Marvan Attapatu apart from his Test debut being everything but colorful. His ODI debut was slightly more impressive as he picked up two wickets as the Indians won the encounter by 9 wickets.

12. MS Dhoni’s ‘Juju’ weapon:

For many years now, Ashish Nehra’s relationship with MS Dhoni has blossomed. In an interview, Nehra stated that he liked the fact that the skipper trusted him, something that has helped him back his instincts. He was the go-to man for MS Dhoni during his time with the Chennai Super Kings.