Duleep Trophy final, Mohali, Day 4 March 7, 2004

Ashish Nehra: ready for Pakistan

After undergoing a worrying ankle operation recently, Ashish Nehra proved his fitness in the first innings of the Duleep Trophy final at Mohali, with 20 overs of consistently probing bowling. He managed 11 overs today, without showing any sign of a niggle, and should now be a certainty to board the flight to Pakistan. Here's what he said after the fourth day's play:

Ashish Nehra: "A lot of fast bowlers get injured in Australia" © Getty Images

On his performance in this match:
I hadn't played much cricket after the surgery - my second surgery on the ankle - but I am feeling much better after this match. I didn't go all out with my pace and took it more as a practice match. Domestic cricket always helps you when you are coming back from an injury. I bowled nearly 20 to 30 overs, and am feeling fit.

On his performance in Australia, and how he sustained his injury:
The Australian wickets are really hard, and the outfields are very soft. So that results in a lot of fast bowlers getting injured there. I haven't been able to get back the pace that I showed during the World Cup, but that is bound to happen when one sustains injuries regularly. After the Word Cup I was in plaster for two to three months. I wasn't getting much swing in Australia, but it's slowly coming back - it takes time to come back.

On breaking down regularly ...
Injuries are nothing new for a fast bowler. Even bowlers like Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee have sustained many injuries. It happens to all of us.

And on the upcoming tour of Pakistan:
It's definitely a big tour, and it's coming after the Australian tour. It is a big thing for all of us. I am fully fit, and this game really helped me a lot.