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Nehra eyes India colours again

Ashish Nehra’s bowling after recovering from an ankle injury has been the talk of the IPL so far among other things. His wicket-taking ability has been one of the keys to Delhi Daredevils’ success, G Krishnan reports.

cricket Updated: May 13, 2009 01:31 IST
G Krishnan

Ashish Nehra’s bowling after recovering from an ankle injury has been the talk of the IPL so far among other things. His wicket-taking ability has been one of the keys to Delhi Daredevils’ success.

“His bowling has been brilliant in this IPL,” said Chennai Super Kings director of operations, VB Chandrasekhar. “He has been the best Indian bowler in the tournament.”

The Daredevils manager and fast bowling coach, TA Sekar said: “Any bowler after injury becomes more prudent. Ashish knows his body well and has shortened his run up. At the same time, he has been maintaining his pace between 130 and 135 kmph. He has been a very important member of our bowling group."

Nehra, himself, was more modest when HT asked him about how his body was holding up after picking 14 wickets in 8 matches. “The body is good. The domestic season in India is so cramped that you are playing 7 to 8 four-day games in eight weeks. No matter how fit you are for 9-10 months, if you are unfit for four weeks, you miss four games. That’s what happened to me,” said Nehra. “I played the Irani Cup and two Ranji games before a hamstring tear kept me out for four weeks. I was bowling well before the tournament in practice games.”

Naturally, the load on a fast bowler is reduced in T20 cricket. “The four overs you bowl and the amount of fielding you do requires proper effort. International cricket and IPL are of the same high standard,” said Nehra. “Test cricket is different and I am not thinking about it. I am fine with ODIs and T20.”

Nehra believed he was ready for a return to international cricket. “IPL is as good as international cricket,” said Nehra. “I am more than 100 per cent ready to play if they give me a chance. There were players who played for India for the first time after last year's IPL. I hope the selectors will recognise my performances in Johannesburg."