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Ashish Nehra and how cool it is to bowl yorkers

Ashish Nehra, currently playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL), says bowling in the death overs is all about mental toughness

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 11, 2017 18:47 IST
IPL 2017
Ashish Nehra bowls for Sunrisers Hyderabad during the opening match of the 2017 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) against Royal Challengers Bangalore.(BCCI)

In the first week of the Indian Premier League, the likes of AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya have really challenged the confidence of bowlers in the death overs. (FULL IPL COVERAGE)

Having been there and done that season after season, Ashish Nehra said coping with it is all about mental toughness. He is against captains walking up and adding to the pressure by asking the bowlers to go for yorkers.

“Everybody’s mindset is different. It is very easy to say, ‘Oh, bowl a yorker!’ because somebody who has never bowled, he doesn’t know what it takes to bowl a yorker. If it’s in my hands to bowl good yorkers, I would bowl six. It is not that easy,” said Nehra.

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“My simple thinking about bowling in the death, number one is that mentally you have to be very strong. There are so many times I have seen that the first ball you bowl goes for a six, the second ball also goes for a six and you feel maybe this over is going for 25-26 runs. But if you are mentally strong, even if the first two balls go for sixes you can still bowl a 15-run over. Those 5-10 runs can make a big difference,” said the 37-year-old.

Given that how quickly the momentum changes in the T20 format, the seasoned warrior advised youngsters to avoid letting down the guard. “Sometimes, you bowl three overs for 18 runs and you think today is a good day… and the last over goes for 20 runs. Look at Sandeep Sharma (against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday). He gave away just 7-8 runs in his first three overs but his last over went for 20. So your day is not over till the time you finish your four overs and the team completes 20.”

Available to play for India

The quality of Nehra is never in doubt. It’s a tribute to his skill level that even though he will be 38 in a fortnight, he remains in contention for limited overs cricket with the Indian team. The next big event is Champions Trophy and Nehra doesn’t rule himself out of the equation.

“It is not necessary that they will be looking for a left-arm seamer. And it is not that I am on trial. Everybody knows if I am fit what I can do. If the team management, the captain and coach want me and if I am ready and fit then definitely I will play,” said Nehra.

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“Every team likes variety. We have people like Bhuvneshwar Kumar who can swing the ball or Jasprit Bumrah, who is really gold with the old ball. Even for Mumbai Indians he is bowling one change. If you do well there is always a scope.”

The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer admitted at his age it is a challenge to recover after every match. “For me, recovery is as important as training. If I say it doesn’t make a difference, at my age I will be lying. At the age of 38, not only fast bowlers but even for a batsman it becomes difficult. You have to put in extra yards.”