Hyderabad: A day after the news of Ashish Nehra’s retirement announcement making the headlines, the seasoned left-arm pacer himself confirmed the news saying that the match against New Zealand on November 1 at his home ground New Delhi would be his final match when he would don the colours of Indian team jersey.
The 38-year-old pacer, whose career was plagued with injuries and numerous comebacks, said that the decision to quit the game is not a hasty one and after giving a good thought, he decided to hang his boots. “I had conveyed what I thought about it to my captain (Virat Kohli), coach (Ravi Shastri) and the team management. With no big tournaments coming up I thought this was the best time for the announcement,” he said here on the eve of the third and final T20 match against Australia.
He further added that the team is doing very well with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah taking the mantle. “Since few months, Bhuvi and Jasprit have been doing a great job. I think they are ready to take up the responsibilities. Moreover, I want to retire on a high. It is good to retire when people are asking ‘why’ rather than ‘why not’. When I confirmed the news, there were many people asking me to play IPL at least. It is good to see that people think I have more to contribute to the game and the Indian team. They asked me that I can play for one more year in IPL. But I am not a person who would change decisions. I put in extra yards and train to play for the country. So once I decided to quit, I thought I will quit IPL as well,” he said.
When enquired whether he will take up the coaching assignments, Nehra said: “I haven’t given it a thought yet. I am not ruling out entering the coaching or mentoring job. There are no plans yet, but the options are open.”
Nehra said that he had learnt a lot from his struggling career. “I have seen both ups and downs many times. I have learnt a lot from those periods. The character comes out when you are down and bounce back from them not when you are on top. So those struggling periods made me strong mentally. I also a person who thinks positively,” he added.
Saying that he hates to compare different captains under whom he played, he said, “I cherish
every moment in the Indian team. All the captains have different style and attitude. I hate comparing them. I played a lot under (Sourav) Ganguly and (MS) Dhoni. But I enjoyed playing under everyone,” he explained.
Talking about the Australian side struggling in India, the pacer who has 34 wickets in 26 T20 matches, felt that this was a transition phase for the team and the same side would do good in a year in the future. “Every team undergoes the transition time. They are a very talented bunch. I don’t want to take names. But all of them are very talented. They will do a lot better one year down the line,” he pointed out.