What’s the story?
Veteran Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has said that his biggest regret in his cricketing career so far is turning down the offer to play Test cricket back in 2009 when the then coach Gary Kirsten offered him an opportunity to revive his Test career.
"When I look back, perhaps that's one regret I have. In 2013 when I played 6 Ranji Games in 6 weeks, I realised that I should have accepted that offer from Gary to play Test matches, I could have easily played four years of Test cricket and may have played another 30-35 matches. But then that's life,” Nehra said.
The Delhi man is the proverbial warhorse as far as Indian cricket is concerned. He made his comeback towards the end of 2015 and since then has been a regular member of the Indian T20 outfit.
Watch: Ashish Nehra’s stunning spell against England in 2003 World Cup
Nehra who is now approaching 40 believed that since age is not on his side, he has to focus more on using all his experience and getting it right whenever he turns up in Indian colours. Although his pace has dropped, the man himself believes that he has never been the 120-125 kmph bowler and has always wanted to bowl fast.
His assumption of himself is not a shout in oblivion as even in the recent series against England his pace with the new ball hovered around the 140 region and along with pace he got the movement and swing which helped him prizing out wickets.
The ever smiling personality, Nehra does not high too high and is very candid in accepting the fact that 2019 may well be a far-fetched dream as his age could not allow him to dream for the World Cup.
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Ever since his comeback into the Indian team, the left-arm seamer has been the for to man for MS Dhoni and now Virat Kohli.
He has picked up 21 wickets since late 2015 and is one of the vital components for India as far as their T20 plans are concerned and he harbours hope of making a comeback into the ODI team for the upcoming Champions Trophy in England.
He last played an ODI match in Indian colours way back during the 2011 World Cup semi-finals against Pakistan but his ability to make the ball move could be a blessing for India in English conditions.
Nehra, who pulled midway through Delhi's Vijay Hazare match - against Maharashtra in Cuttack has to carefully monitor his body come the Indian Premier League. His performances in the tournament could bring him on the radar of the Indian selectors when they sit down to pick the squad for the Champions Trophy.
He will play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and his form with the new and old ball would play a crucial part in the journey of the defending champions.
The current selection committee has made it very clear that they factor in performances of players in the domestic circuit and that for them age is no such factor. These criterions were quite evident when they roped in Yuvraj Singh in the ODI and T20 squad against England.
This should give Nehra confidence who should look in to put in stellar performances in the upcoming IPL. This and the fact that the current Indian team does not have any left-arm seam bowling all-rounder should augur well for the Delhi lad.