Ashish Nehra: The Forever Man of Indian Cricket


Ashish Nehra: The Forever Man of Indian Cricket

Illustration: Akshita Monga


n 2003, the era before T-20, watching a game of cricket for eight hours straight wasn’t considered “boring”. The Indian team at the time was a batting masterclass. Sehwag, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj – you name it. But as good as the batting was, the bowling and fielding was equally lacklustre. You never knew what score would be enough. Our bowling unit never inspired much confidence. Whether it was 300 or 350, it could make any score look mediocre.

At age 10, this lacklustre bowling was my single biggest worry. (Yes, I’m that uncool.) The England-India game at Durban was a must-win World Cup game and we put on an average 250 on the board. I had as much faith on the Indian bowling line-up as I had in Santa Claus showing up for Christmas. England lost a couple of quick wickets but a partnership was beginning to take shape.