Born on 29th April 1979, Ashish Nehra had all the ability to become one of the best Indian pacers of the modern generation.
But injuries have been his constant companion in his 18-year long career and has not let Nehra play at his complete potential
Over the years, he has been criticized for his attitude, but the fact is, Nehra played a pivotal role for India in white-ball cricket.
So, today we have listed out Top 10 interesting Nehra facts that every cricket fan should know.
Top 10 interesting Ashish Nehra facts
1) International debut in 1999
Even though Nehra took retirement in 2017, he made his international debut for India way back in 1999
On 24th February 1999, under captain Mohammed Azharuddin, Nehra made his test debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Sri Lankan opener Marvan Atapattu became Nehra’s first wicket in international cricket.
2) Time for Batsman Nehra
Nehra may be a superb fast bowler, but he struggled with the bat throughout his career.
But as you all know, some days are your days, and on that day you can do anything.
It was India’s 2002-03 tour to New Zealand, and in the sixth ODI at Auckland, Indians were in a spot of bother with nine wickets down.
But, it was Nehra who stayed calm, hit the winning runs, and helped India win by one wicket.
3) Best bowling figures by an Indian in World Cup
Nehra helped India grab a superb victory against England in Durban in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
Defending 250 runs, Nehra bowled a match-winning spell of 6-23, which included crucial wickets of Alec Stewart, Michael Vaughn, and Collingwood
India managed to win by 82 runs, and his figures remain the best bowling performance by an Indian cricketer in a World Cup match.
It is the 3rd best bowling figure for an Indian bowler in ODIs after Stuart Binny and Anil Kumble.
4) Only Indian cricketer to take six wickets in ODIs twice
Nehra is the only Indian cricketer to take six wickets twice in ODIs
Nehra took 6-23 against England in Durban, and again took six wickets (6-59) against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
5) Played for five different teams in IPL
Nehra has played for five different teams in IPL – Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors India, Chennai Super Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
He played his first IPL season with Mumbai Indians and ended his IPL career playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
6) An effective death bowler
At times, Nehra has let his side down in the death, but if you look at his overall career, he has won India matches in the death as well.
Be it in the 2004 ODI match against Pakistan at Karachi, against Sri Lanka in 2009, or be it in the 2011 World Cup semi-final against Pakistan, Nehra has proved himself as a reliable death bowler.
7) A remarkable comeback
Nehra made a remarkable comeback in the national side at 37 years of age for the Australia tour in 2015-16.
From there on, he never looked back and was a regular feature of the Indian team’s T20 setup till his retirement in 2017.
In this period, India beat Australia 3-0, won the Asia Cup, and was the semi-finalist of the 2016 T20 World Cup.
8) Trouble with injury and fitness issues
Nehra’s career was troubled with injuries and had several fitness issues, and so, Yuvraj Singh once jokingly said that Nehra could even get injured in his sleep.
In an interview, he revealed that he had at least 12 surgeries in his career, and hence, missed many international tournaments, which could have changed the course of his career.
9) Friendship with his fellow cricketers
Sehwag and Nehra were teammates for both Delhi and the Indian or in the IPL.
Both went to play matches sitting on a scooter, with Sehwag driving the scooter and Nehra holding the kit bag on the back seat.
He is also good friends with Gautam Gambhir and Akash Chopra.
10) Other facts about Ashish Nehra
M.S.Dhoni suggested Nehra’s name as the future bowling coach for India
Delhi has Cricket Association renamed one end of the Arun Jaitley Stadium as “Ashish Nehra End.”
After Rahul Dravid, Nehra, at the age of 38 years 186 days, was the 2nd oldest Indian player to play T20Is.