Holdingwilley The second best way to enjoy cricket

Dear Ashish Nehra

( 1501 views )

Ashish_Nehra_India_Cricket_BowlingDear Ashish Nehra,

To begin with,

Do you know what’s the first thought that comes to my mind when I hear your name?

Your 6/23 against England in the 2003 World Cup. And your splendid spell against Pakistan in the high voltage 2011 World Cup semi-final. And your fantastic, consistent bowling throughout the 2016 World T20, where you led the pace attack. I think the latter takes the cake.

Initially, I never considered you one of the prominent fast bowlers in India. I used to oscillate between ‘Nehra is not that good’ to ‘Nehra is really good’ throughout your career. A classic example of this is your transition in the 2011 World Cup: from the game against South Africa, where you conceded 13 in the final over, to the semi-final against Pakistan, where you bowled a crucial spell. I just couldn’t make up my mind about you.

However, your comeback into the international arena of T20 changed my whole perception of you. You proved your point for CSK during the 2015 edition of the IPL where you showed off with some splendid performances. But the way you fostered the bowling attack throughout the season earned you a special kind of adulation from me, and no doubt countless others.

While I had found new respect for you, I still wasn’t that keen to see you back in the Indian colours. To be honest, the prospect of a 37-year-old pacer whose career had been marred with injuries coming back to the international team failed to make sense. However, the energy levels you displayed on the field proved me completely wrong by the end of the season.

A professional player is someone who keeps trying his best even when he doesn’t feel like it. You threw out the idea that T20 internationals were an arena solely reserved for fresh legs and young guns. Going round the stumps, slowing things down and cleverly using the short ball: you gave the opposition batsmen a run for their money.

We could hardly see any dip in your bowling speed. Throughout the three months, whether it was against Australia or in the Asia Cup or the World T20, you bowled like an old war horse. Taking wickets at regular intervals to pin down the opposition, you became Dhoni’s go-to-man every time India needed a wicket. The way you would walk up to a young Jasprit Bumrah or a budding pacer like Hardik Pandya and offer your inputs was quite calming for the frazzled nerves of a cricket fan.

An astounding 18 wickets in the 14 games you played last season, that too at a staggering economy rate of 7, just portrayed your mastery on the field. The saying ‘Old is Gold’ start trending every time you rose to the occasion. The last game of India’s 2016 World T20 campaign, where you conceded runs at an economy rate of just above 6 an over when the West Indies team scored runs at 10 per over, was clear, sublime proof of your brilliance as a bowler.

As I heard about your retirement, I felt a lump in my throat and pang in my heart. The prospect of never being able to watch ‘Nehra ji’ in the Indian colours again was a little tough to digest. While I may have never expected you to don that blue jersey again after your injury in 2011, you did the unthinkable. Not only did you wear it, you showed up with flying colours every chance you got. It made me bow down in respect to one of the greatest servants in modern Indian cricket.

The Kotla crowd awaits your presence. So do the million fans across India, waiting to catch a glimpse of you bowling one final time for the nation. You might have never been an all-time favourite like Javagal Srinath or Zaheer Khan, but you truly created a legacy of your own and the fans will never forget Ashish Nehra for that.

Thank you, Nehra ji. It has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride, but it has ended on a high.

As you walk into the field one last time and begin to play,
The captaincy has gone from Azhar’s age to Kohli’s day.
Throughout your career, you refused to fade away,
That’s the way, the Ashish Nehra way.

Yours truly,
An Indian Cricket Fan.

 

Fast. Lite. Innovative. Shareable. Download our HW Cricket App, for Android and iOS!



Rate this article:

About the author

Articles:
27
Reads:
52303
Avg. Reads:
1937
FB Likes:
424
Tweets:
0

@HitmanCricket on Twitter. Avid Writer, Food Blogger, EDM Freak, TV Series Fanatic....

View Full Profile

Related Content