The 18-years of long international cricket career came to end when left-arm veteran pacer Ashish Nehra officially retired from all forms of the game on Wednesday night. Nehra played his final professional cricket match against New Zealand at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Ashish Nehra born on 29th April 1979 in the capital of India, Delhi. He started playing first-class cricket for his hometown, Delhi, in the 1997/98 season. Nehra’s first ever international appearance was against Sri Lanka in a test match at Colombo in 1999. Two years after his test debut, Nehra JI made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2001. Almost eight years later, in 2009, Nehra played his first ever T20 international match against Sri Lanka at Nagpur.
TEST CAREER :
On his Test debut, Nehra started out well, dismissing Marvan Atapattu early but then failed to pick up any more wickets. He managed to play total of 17 tests in his international career and claimed 44 wickets. The fast bowler maintained test economy at 3.24 and an average of 42.40. His best bowling figures were 4/72 and he claimed 4 wickets haul twice in five years test career. For a surprise, Nehra smashed 3 sixes in test arena. His last test match was against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in 2004. Yes, he lasted for only 5 years in test cricket and survived for 13 more years in International cricket since his last test match in 2004.
ODI CAREER :
On his ODI debut, Ashish dismissed Alistair Campbell of Zimbabwe with only his 2nd ball in ODIs. His career statistics are better in ODI cricket than in Test cricket, but with 144 ODI wickets at an average of 30.54 his average is higher(lesser the best) than all three of his main competitors for fast bowling places in the Indian team – Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar, who all have bowling averages below 30. Nehra was a part of Indian team’s run in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. On that World Cup, Nehra got his career-best ODI figures of 6/23 against England and that was still remain fresh in fans mind. He was also a part of 2011 World Cup winning team where he produced the most economical spell on that day among Indian bowlers and took 2 for 33 in 10 overs against Pakistan in the Semi-Final clash. He however could not play the final due to a fractured finger on his right hand. He has a tally of 157 ODI wickets in 120 matches. He was quite expensive at sometimes, but he knew the trick to pick a wicket with an white-ball. He claimed 4 wickets haul 5 times and 5 wickets haul twice in his ODI career. He came to bat in 46 innings and scored 141 runs totally. His highest ODI score was 24 and he hits boundary line 15 times in his brief career. He was the first Indian bowler to pick 6 wickets hauls twice in One-Day Internationals.
T20I CRICKET :
Nehra Ji made his T20 International debut against Sri Lanka in 2009 and played his last game on 1st November 2017. In this 8 years long T20I career, Nehra played only 27 matches and picked 34 wickets. His best figure was 3/19 against Afghanistan during the World T20 stint in Caribbean islands in 2010. He frustrated fans sometimes with his expensive spells in T20 format and finished his career with an overall economy of 7.73. Apart from International T20s, Nehra has played so many T20 games in the IPL. In the Indian Premier League, he played various teams such as Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors India, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. In his T20 career, claimed 162 wickets in 132 matches with the best figures of 4 for 10.
Nehra managed to push his injury-prone body for close to two decades, those injuries ensured Nehra was never quite able to fulfil his potential for his country, particularly in the longest format, where he ended up appearing in one Test fewer than the number of years he was active as an international cricketer. On his farewell, Nehra said, “I will miss all this. That’s what you train for. One thing which will definitely be at peace will be my body. I said earlier that I can go a couple more years, but there can’t be a better time to walk away.”
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