Unfinished business: Ashish Nehra turns back the clock in style in IPL
In less than a week, Ashish Nehra will turn 36. Many cricket writers have been pretty free with the use of the word veteran with the left-arm medium-fast bowler's name, but the Delhi man is turning back the clock in style in this edition of the Indian Premier League.
A dream spell of 4/10 in his four overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore on their home turf on Wednesday night was yet another reminder of the skill he commands.
Father Time taps on every shoulder, but if anyone has unfinished business with cricket, it is Nehra. Few people have battled injuries as many times as him. At one point, it had become chronic. Just when his stop-start career would look to take off, the body would break down.
His team mate of many years, Yuvraj Singh, once let the world know of a remark Nehra had made about injuries. "Body mein injuries nahin, injuries mein body phasi hai," Singh quoted Nehra as having said.
Nehra had played for India, he must have made his share of money and could have given up. He hasn't. He could have rested his career on that one dream spell he had in the 2003 World Cup against England. That 6/23 performance is a part of Indian cricketing folklore.
There is a much-watched clip on YouTube of Nehra abusing his teammates in frustration for letting go of Shahid Afridi's catch. The teammates are Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni, then a relative newbie.
Thousands of comments are available on multiple versions of the same clip suggesting that is the reason why Nehra doesn't play for India more regularly. The conspiracy being, Dhoni got the leadership of the team.
Evidently, nothing could be further from the truth because Nehra is a part of Dhoni's formidable Chennai Super Kings.
At this point, he has 10 wickets from five games at a very respectable T20 economy of 6.05. What's more, he is topping the bowling charts. CSK are one of the most formidable sides in IPL and he has many more matches to look forward to.
The IPL spells Nehra is showcasing are evidence that he will not go gentle into that good night.
The writer tweets at @ippusultan