Ashish Nehra: I can still crank it up to 140 kmph plus in T20s

Ashish Nehra believes that being the senior most players in the side, he and Dhoni have a lot of experience to share with the players

Ashish Nehra in a recent interview has opened up about his past and his plans for the future. The veteran left-arm pacer has been on and off the field due to injuries. Nehra is expected to return to the side in the ICC Champions Trophy starting June 1. Nehra talked about his regrets from the past relating to former Indian coach Gary Kirsten.

Nehra is currently the senior most player in the team and even at the age of 37, he bowls lightning fast deliveries giving one of the world’s best batsmen a run for their money. He will be seen in action during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 for defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Nehra shared his one and only regret with a leading news publishing website as he said, “When I look back, perhaps that’s one regret I have. In 2013 when I played 6 Ranji Games in 6 weeks, I realised that I should have accepted that offer from Gary to play Test matches.  I could have easily played four years of Test cricket and may have played another 30-35 matches. But then that’s life,”

Nehra talked about his potential at an age where cricketers resort to retiring from the game, he said, “At my age (he will be 38 next month), I am still a fast bowler. I was never the conventional 125-128 kmph bowler. Even today with the new ball, I set myself a target of bowling 138 kmph and I have to do that. Speed is not everything but if need be I can crank it upto 140 plus in T20s also,”

He also understands his place in the side being the most experienced player, he said, If anyone says that he doesn’t feel pressure at international level is lying. But at this stage of my career more than pressure, I feel a sense of responsibility as a senior cricketer — to help young bowlers with inputs. Me and MS are two guys from different age groups. Our job is to bring a sense of calmness, our experience in this team,”

He talked about his plans for ICC World Cup 2019 as well, he said, “2019 is too far away and I can’t play that far at my age even though I never planned when I was young. Even MS Dhoni who is two years younger to me may not be thinking that far ahead. Right now, I am preparing for IPL since Delhi hasn’t qualified for Hazare Trophy. Then there’s the Champions Trophy,”

The 37-year-old also talked about IPL 2017, he said, “It all depends on how my body is responding. If I am fit, I might play all 14 and it might also be I can get injured before start. But I cannot think of giving 70 percent in IPL. That’s not what a professional does,”

Nehra talked about his selection for the upcoming Champions Trophy as well, he said, “If team management wants me and I am fit, I would like to play the Champions Trophy. I am preparing for it and that’s why I played two Vijay Hazare Trophy matches after 16 months. It felt good.”