Ashish Nehra says Indian Premier League ‘not just a batsman’s game’

Ashish Nehra, who will be part of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s coaching team for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), believes bowlers will have a part to play in the tournament too.

cricket Updated: Mar 13, 2018 12:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ashish Nehra,Indian Premier League,Royal Challengers Bangalore
Ashish Nehra will be part of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s coaching team for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). (IPL / SPORTZPICS)

Ashish Nehra believes bowlers will have an important part to play in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), even though he believes the Twenty20 format is more forgiving to batsmen.

The 38-year-old, who retired from competitive cricket late in 2017, will be part of the coaching team of the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore alongside South African and World Cup winning coach with India – Gary Kirsten.

Nehra has been a part of the IPL since its inception in 2008, but conceded that while the T20 format may more appreciative of batsman, matches cannot be won by big hits alone.

“As a batter even if you don’t score for five-six innings, and then you score a 120-ball 40 or a 130-ball 50, it is more highlighted. But it is other way round for a bowler,” Nehra was quoted as saying to the Times of India.

“You might pick three wickets in four overs giving away 25 runs, it may go unnoticed. But if you give 60 runs in four overs, it will get highlighted”.

“But in terms of cricketing contribution, I feel bowlers have an equal role to play, especially at a venue like Bangalore or Mumbai, where everybody knows wicket is going to be a belter. Be it Tests, ODIs or T20s, bowlers have to do well to win the match. You can’t win a Test match by scoring a 1,000 runs. You will have to take 20 wickets to win it,” opined Nehra, who has turned out for Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

Opening up about his first stint in the backroom set-up, Nehra feels that it is not his place to change any player’s game but to morally support and guide the team.

“I can’t and don’t want to change anybody’s game in the two-three months. I just want to change their frame of mind if there is a need for it. All my bowlers know how to bowl, but my job would be to tell them what to bowl when,” said Nehra.

“It will be more of a man-management thing for me, as I don’t want to use the word coaching for my job at this stage. I see coaching from a player’s point of view. I was playing till three-four months ago, so whatever I wanted from a coach, I will try to give it to my players,” he added.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 12:20 IST