India news October 26, 2010

Ashish Nehra ready for Test comeback

ESPNcricinfo staff
43

Ashish Nehra, one of India's first-choice seamers in the shorter versions of the game, has made himself available for Test cricket, six and a half years since he last turned out in whites at the highest level.

"I had never said that I will not play Test cricket again," Nehra told PTI. "It was just that initially after my comeback, I wanted to concentrate on the ODIs and Twenty20s. Now that I am back in the national side for one and a half years, I feel confident to make a comeback in the Test fold. I will like to make myself available for selection during the South Africa Test series."

A spate of injuries in the mid-2000s pushed Nehra out of the Indian team, but he clawed back into the reckoning with a watershed performance in the 2009 IPL in South Africa, where he stood third in the wickets chart with 18. He has since become a regular in India's ODI plans and sporadically featured in Twenty20 internationals. His susceptibility to injuries, however, has kept him out of the Test team.

Since his international comeback in June 2009, Nehra has played 36 one-dayers, picking 54 wickets at an average just under 30. More importantly, he has not missed a single game due to fitness issues or injuries, and Nehra hopes that he can carry that durability into the longest version. He is headed to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore to follow a fitness program that will prepare him for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

"I am planning to play one Ranji Trophy for Delhi before the New Zealand ODI series to check how my body is holding. I am enjoying my cricket at the moment and I don't see any reason why I can't make a comeback.

"For me the top-most priority is the World Cup next year. That is why I have been so choosy about playing in the longer version. But after World Cup, there is lot of Test cricket to be played as India would be playing against England, West Indies. I will like to again play Test cricket with the same intensity that I used to at the start of my career."

While Nehra is keen to return to Tests, it remains to be seen whether the selectors, who have treated India's fast-bowling talents on a case-by-case-basis, will include him in their plans. Zaheer Khan is currently the only seamer who walks into the side in all three formats, but, of late, he has been used selectively in a bid to prolong his career. Nehra, on the other hand, has slotted well into the one-day side, with his ability to move the new ball and deliver yorkers in the closing stages. Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth, who have been lacklustre in the shorter versions, have been persisted with for Test cricket. Both bowlers have reposed that faith with strong performances in recent times, and Nehra will have to stave off competition from them to enter the Test side.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • adi.0807 on October 30, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Guys nehra has test bowling avg. of 42, not a single 5 wicket haul. No need to get excited about his return in test cricket. He is even worse than Munaf patel as a test bowler.

  • indianxpres on October 28, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    Glad to see nehra is fit enough for test cricket.. we can play him in 2nd and 3rd against NZ ahead of sreesanth & Ishanth.

  • DINESHCC on October 28, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Showdown prince: You have mentioned about 14 fast or medium pace Indian bowlers. It is great to see that you can remember them everyone. Bacause all of the playing cricket well and continously taking wickets too. In your dictionary who are all fast bowlers? Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhthar, Shane Bond, Mitchell Jhonson, Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, James Anderson etc. etc. Can you say how many of them played for their country continuously 10 tests or even 10 ODIs. Excepting Dale Steyn all had played one Test and 2 ODIs continuously and taken rest for two years due to injury. Dude it is not the pace which matters, it is the wickets. As per your dictionary if Kumble is a fast bowler I agree he is a bowler and taken more than 600 test wickets and not announced retirement in his early 30s like Brret Lee and not like Shoaib Akhthar who could not play even 50 tests in his long international cricket career of 15 years.

  • MANSUR_MUSCAT on October 27, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    Ashish Nehra's comeback to TEST erena is good news! but as you all know very well about his FITNESS level (try him in RANJI first) we cannot simply risk him especially before WORLD CUP! as he is one of our best bet of bowling in ODI along with ZAK & PK. I think for South African tour, we should try the left rookie JAIDEV UNADKAT as a surprise package for South Africa! ZAK+ISH+SREE+JAIDEV will be deadly combination in RSA conditions. Lastly, I don't understand what DHAWAL KULKARNI has done wrong for his omission after all his excellent performances for MUMBAI! in RANJI / MUMBAI INDIANS / INDIA A, this guy is also a good batter in lower order.

  • karthikfromchennai on October 27, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    There are many kids barking in jealous at India being no1...they were not making any noise when Aus was no1. Its the same ICC yardstick used to rank who is no1. I dont think ICC amended any of the rules to promote India to No1. its team India's performance over the years that took them to the top spot. The stats are there with cricinfo...pls check. India does not have a great clean sweep record, but COMPARED TO OTHER TEST PLAYING NATIONS...India's performance is better and thats why we are no 1. Oz ended Windies dominance and now India finished the Aussies...someone will take the No 1 spot India in future...hope this clarifies. Also there are questions on India's inability to produce a real fast bowler....guys, AS LONG AS WE HAVE AVERAGE BOWLERS CAPABLE OF TAKING TWENTY WICKETS....WE ARE OK...our bowlers have won umpteen matches in the last 3-4 years and took our team to No1. So, there is no real worry to have a so called lightening fast bowler in our side. We win matches, thats enough

  • on October 27, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Nehra is good swing bowler for outside india pitches he should consider for SA series

  • on October 27, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    Ishant, Zaheer, Nehra, Pathan, Perveen, Munaf, Joginder Sherma, Srinath, Persad, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ashok Dinda....and many more....THE INDIANS FAST BOWLERS hahahaha,,,,Before Ishant sharma played his first match, they said he bowled upto 160 kmh aswell and they said praveen kumar bowled 150kmh hahaha.....India could not produce one genuine fast bowler in last 75 or more years. Isn't it pathetic of them or what?? An example that comes to my mind is of Munaf Patel.When he came to the International Arena he could bowl at 145+ . But now after three years he struggles to bowl at 135 on consistent basis. hahah We couldent produce 1 good fast bowler from population of 1 billion lol...most of there so called fast bowler start as medium fast and after 1 year? they turn into spinners pace lool...but i like anil kumble ..he was the only indian fast bowler who never lost his pace hahahhaha

  • joseyesu on October 27, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Not a nice idea when players are already performing. It is also better to have a seperate team for test and other as this will give a good rest and also to concentrate in the limited they are given.

  • Razor88 on October 27, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Sreesanth and Ishant are never a Problem for Nehra...... he will walk into the side if he is fit enuf to play... but the world cup in mind this will be a Problem... last thing nehra and we fans need is an Injury... We hardly have any Good Pace bowler.....lets see who we've got....... 1.Zaheer, 2.Praveen, 3.Nehra, 4.Vinay, 5.Dinda, 6.Sree/Ishant ..... Thats is all..... Very Few good Bowlers ... Damn sad for India :(

  • manish010287 on October 27, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Nehra is suseptible to injuries in the longer ersion of test crcket & he should play a few First class matches before getting ready for Test cricket.

  • adi.0807 on October 30, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Guys nehra has test bowling avg. of 42, not a single 5 wicket haul. No need to get excited about his return in test cricket. He is even worse than Munaf patel as a test bowler.

  • indianxpres on October 28, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    Glad to see nehra is fit enough for test cricket.. we can play him in 2nd and 3rd against NZ ahead of sreesanth & Ishanth.

  • DINESHCC on October 28, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Showdown prince: You have mentioned about 14 fast or medium pace Indian bowlers. It is great to see that you can remember them everyone. Bacause all of the playing cricket well and continously taking wickets too. In your dictionary who are all fast bowlers? Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhthar, Shane Bond, Mitchell Jhonson, Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, James Anderson etc. etc. Can you say how many of them played for their country continuously 10 tests or even 10 ODIs. Excepting Dale Steyn all had played one Test and 2 ODIs continuously and taken rest for two years due to injury. Dude it is not the pace which matters, it is the wickets. As per your dictionary if Kumble is a fast bowler I agree he is a bowler and taken more than 600 test wickets and not announced retirement in his early 30s like Brret Lee and not like Shoaib Akhthar who could not play even 50 tests in his long international cricket career of 15 years.

  • MANSUR_MUSCAT on October 27, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    Ashish Nehra's comeback to TEST erena is good news! but as you all know very well about his FITNESS level (try him in RANJI first) we cannot simply risk him especially before WORLD CUP! as he is one of our best bet of bowling in ODI along with ZAK & PK. I think for South African tour, we should try the left rookie JAIDEV UNADKAT as a surprise package for South Africa! ZAK+ISH+SREE+JAIDEV will be deadly combination in RSA conditions. Lastly, I don't understand what DHAWAL KULKARNI has done wrong for his omission after all his excellent performances for MUMBAI! in RANJI / MUMBAI INDIANS / INDIA A, this guy is also a good batter in lower order.

  • karthikfromchennai on October 27, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    There are many kids barking in jealous at India being no1...they were not making any noise when Aus was no1. Its the same ICC yardstick used to rank who is no1. I dont think ICC amended any of the rules to promote India to No1. its team India's performance over the years that took them to the top spot. The stats are there with cricinfo...pls check. India does not have a great clean sweep record, but COMPARED TO OTHER TEST PLAYING NATIONS...India's performance is better and thats why we are no 1. Oz ended Windies dominance and now India finished the Aussies...someone will take the No 1 spot India in future...hope this clarifies. Also there are questions on India's inability to produce a real fast bowler....guys, AS LONG AS WE HAVE AVERAGE BOWLERS CAPABLE OF TAKING TWENTY WICKETS....WE ARE OK...our bowlers have won umpteen matches in the last 3-4 years and took our team to No1. So, there is no real worry to have a so called lightening fast bowler in our side. We win matches, thats enough

  • on October 27, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Nehra is good swing bowler for outside india pitches he should consider for SA series

  • on October 27, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    Ishant, Zaheer, Nehra, Pathan, Perveen, Munaf, Joginder Sherma, Srinath, Persad, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ashok Dinda....and many more....THE INDIANS FAST BOWLERS hahahaha,,,,Before Ishant sharma played his first match, they said he bowled upto 160 kmh aswell and they said praveen kumar bowled 150kmh hahaha.....India could not produce one genuine fast bowler in last 75 or more years. Isn't it pathetic of them or what?? An example that comes to my mind is of Munaf Patel.When he came to the International Arena he could bowl at 145+ . But now after three years he struggles to bowl at 135 on consistent basis. hahah We couldent produce 1 good fast bowler from population of 1 billion lol...most of there so called fast bowler start as medium fast and after 1 year? they turn into spinners pace lool...but i like anil kumble ..he was the only indian fast bowler who never lost his pace hahahhaha

  • joseyesu on October 27, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Not a nice idea when players are already performing. It is also better to have a seperate team for test and other as this will give a good rest and also to concentrate in the limited they are given.

  • Razor88 on October 27, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Sreesanth and Ishant are never a Problem for Nehra...... he will walk into the side if he is fit enuf to play... but the world cup in mind this will be a Problem... last thing nehra and we fans need is an Injury... We hardly have any Good Pace bowler.....lets see who we've got....... 1.Zaheer, 2.Praveen, 3.Nehra, 4.Vinay, 5.Dinda, 6.Sree/Ishant ..... Thats is all..... Very Few good Bowlers ... Damn sad for India :(

  • manish010287 on October 27, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Nehra is suseptible to injuries in the longer ersion of test crcket & he should play a few First class matches before getting ready for Test cricket.

  • bharat.agr on October 27, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    I believe in Nehra, if he thinks that his body is ready to take the exertion that Test Matches presents. Though, I think currently its not a good idea to put him in test side in haste as he is a very important cog in Indian ODI side, especially WC is just round the corner. It would be nice to see him being picked and then monitored by team physio to judge whether his body is actually ready to take the toll of Test Match. I wish all the best to Nehra. I would love to see Zaheer and Nehra operating from opposite end sometime in future.

  • PHANTOM-X on October 27, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    This guy's got talent. It's NOT a good idea playing before the world cup.

  • muzmeister on October 27, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    "Both bowlers have reposed that faith with strong performances in recent times". I agree Sreesanth has shown enough of late but I challenge the author of this article to justify his coment regarding I Sharma. Although he batted brilliantly to win the first test Vs Aus, his bowling has been appalling. He is capable of only 1 or 2 decent sessions of bowling in a match and he has been doing that all year. Granted Sharma looked incredibly promising 2 yrs ago and I understand why India persist with him. But your comment is clearly WRONG. Z Khan has been holding up the rest of the bowlers all year. He is almost a one man bowling attack. A brilliant bowler. Since Nov last year to now, Khan has 42 wickets at 25. Sharma has 22 at 45. Not good enough and comments like yours only continue the myth that Sharma is still worthy of a place in the Test team. Clearly he is not. On prmo Give Nehra a go if you want 3 pacers, otherwise save him. Sreesanth deserves to bowl alongside Khan. He deserves it.

  • TimmyF_23 on October 27, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    @Sarabjit Mahal totally agree with your first comment. Wait until after the hard tours of RSA, ENG and AUS, then look at where India are ranked. If they do well and are still No.1.. Then and then only will i praise them and admit they deserve the No.1 spot.

  • TimmyF_23 on October 27, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    Seriously?? Does India not want the No. 1 ranking any longer? I know they dont deserve it but thats no need to throw it away and pick old players who need the assistance of a walking from on the field. Nehra is ordinary. If they pick him, they are kidding themselves.

  • on October 26, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Nehra is a good bowler. He needs to be match fit by playing 3 days together and then consider his comeback to Test cricket. Tour of England shd be the ideal time. I think, it is time for Praveen kumar to be a part of test team in SA,Eng and Aus. He would be very useful there as he can swing the ball and trouble the batsmen. My choice of seamers for SA - Zaheer,Ishanth,Praveen,Sreesanth,Unadkat. Also the selectors shd start giving RP singh some confidence. Prob, ask him to go to either NCA or MRF and get back his rythm and form. He is not ready to be back to the side, but in full form, he would be a very good bowler

  • JayPadia on October 26, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    Yes this may sound like a step backward, but should prove useful. Nehra has experienced South African conditions and is a senior bowler who is performing. Indian team has a good test mindset and Nehra would adapt soon given his experience overall and with the current team through one-dayers. The suggestion sounds positive, hope it turns out well. Wish Nehra and Indian team All the very Best.

  • arvindthiru on October 26, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    I think the selectors will not risk playing Nehra in the test matches in SA because those are the only test matches before the WC and if he gets injured, and with the WC just a month away, he will not recover for it. But they will definitely pick him in the squad and let him bowl in the nets, that will keep him in good form. So he will practice in the nets in SA, play the WC and if he has a good campaign there, he will surely play tests in Eng and WI hands-down. Its nice to have some experience in the test bowling, this will be a great advantage to our seam attack and zaheer and Nehra can alternate on test matches and prolong their career.

  • on October 26, 2010, 18:38 GMT

    I think Nehra has every chance to succeed in tests but please please please don't risk over-burdening and injuring him just before the World Cup.. He has already had stress fractures.. I think that selectors understand this and won't include him in the test squad even if he makes himself available.. He is a definite candidate for a test spot but he must be included only after the World Cup..

  • on October 26, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    0wais y would u want any 1 injured??????????and then u lol joker u get injured.hahaha

  • on October 26, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    where on earth is the most talented & youngest of them all...RP Singh ??!!!!

  • on October 26, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    is it a page 2 article posted here by mistake... ?

  • on October 26, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    step backward not sure but if india wants to stay no:1 for long time than we need to find 1 fast bowler very fast like b.lee..but tours to rsa englan and aussies than we will c where india in the ranking table ?

  • on October 26, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    Where on earth is the most talented and youngest of them all ??!! RP Singh !!!!!

  • crisspyman on October 26, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    No way..............Nehra should not be taken into consideration.Even though he has experience,his body does not allow him to play test cricket.If at all the selectors are looking for a fast bowler they should pick someone who can bowl above 150km/hr...Because in South Africa faster you bowl,more help u'l get from the pitch ...I know that there is hardly any bowler in India and only handful in the world who can bowl that fast...Hope we'll unearth such a bowler soon.........

  • karthikfromchennai on October 26, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    To get seleced for the test matches you need to play domestice matches and prove your fitness level. Just playing in ODIs and few T20 matches in IPL will not guarantee a test berth.

  • NewYorkCricket on October 26, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    I think you should stick to one-days and t20, given your fitness problems in the past. Overall the board should look to pay fast bowlers 3 or 4 times more than they pay batsmen at practically every level of cricket. That is what it should be logically and that is what will encourage young people to take up bowling. Is anybody listening?

  • ram5160 on October 26, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    I don't think the selectors should risk injuring him so close to the world cup. Maybe, after WC, for the tours of England and Aus, he can be considered. I would pick Praveen Kumar for backup to the other 3 seamers on the trip to RSA.

  • narenvs on October 26, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    Nehra's fine performances in the one-day matches, and Ishant and Sreesanth's inconsistent performance, definitely encourage the selectors to give Nehra a try in tests too.

  • adityabahri on October 26, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    No Nehra No.. Don't do that. You will injure yourself and subsequently miss out on the WC

  • krik.lover on October 26, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    Fantastic !!! Nobody had discussed reg. nehra during the comments of Indian team squad. But he is arguably better than Srishanth, Irfan, Aswin and others. Nehra with loads of experience and good form of ODI will be the right PICK for Tests.............................. Sounds Great!!!

  • TexasCricket on October 26, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    good luck !, Its still Zaheer, Ishanth, Sreesanth and then the rest for test..

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on October 26, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    no way ashish you have got a horrible test average of 42 from 17 games better concentrate on ODIS or else if u get injured in tests this time mate its bye bye

  • trueanalyst on October 26, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Nehra took India to World cup finals in South Africa & was also very successful in IPL 2 in South Africa & hence should be automatic choice for South African tour.

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    It is not bad idea to have Nehra as a bowler for test side. He could be a handful in south africa

  • trueanalyst on October 26, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Wow what a great News.India was sorely missing a quality bowler.Now with Nehra's swing India's attack will definitely get more teeth.

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    this shows the scarcity f pacemen in our nation !! this clearly is a step backward

  • brahan95 on October 26, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Nehra is always a gift for India in ODIs but he is not so effective in longer version..But its also fair to give him a chance in SA series..Since he was away from test matches for quite a while he may try to bounce back with new ideas in tests..It will be great to see Zaheer and Nehra start with the once again.Zaheer is a natural swing bowler but Nehra depends on his varying line and length.Their combination can improve the bowling attack..

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    THTS GOOD NEWS.GO NEHRA GO..

  • on October 26, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    This is something incredible that Nehra is back with all his fire and he is prevailing. All youngsters must learn determination from him. He is like Arjuna who eyes on the eye of the bird.

  • sbharathwaj on October 26, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    its quite an impossible situation for nehra in the test side...since we already have zach a leftie...ishanth has been really good on vital situations..he gets a place only if either of the two is injured

  • 0wais on October 26, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    He will get injured on the first Morning and be out again for a few months. Lol

  • on October 26, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    i hope ashish nehra came back in test is good sign for india.

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  • on October 26, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    i hope ashish nehra came back in test is good sign for india.

  • 0wais on October 26, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    He will get injured on the first Morning and be out again for a few months. Lol

  • sbharathwaj on October 26, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    its quite an impossible situation for nehra in the test side...since we already have zach a leftie...ishanth has been really good on vital situations..he gets a place only if either of the two is injured

  • on October 26, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    This is something incredible that Nehra is back with all his fire and he is prevailing. All youngsters must learn determination from him. He is like Arjuna who eyes on the eye of the bird.

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    THTS GOOD NEWS.GO NEHRA GO..

  • brahan95 on October 26, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Nehra is always a gift for India in ODIs but he is not so effective in longer version..But its also fair to give him a chance in SA series..Since he was away from test matches for quite a while he may try to bounce back with new ideas in tests..It will be great to see Zaheer and Nehra start with the once again.Zaheer is a natural swing bowler but Nehra depends on his varying line and length.Their combination can improve the bowling attack..

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    this shows the scarcity f pacemen in our nation !! this clearly is a step backward

  • trueanalyst on October 26, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Wow what a great News.India was sorely missing a quality bowler.Now with Nehra's swing India's attack will definitely get more teeth.

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    It is not bad idea to have Nehra as a bowler for test side. He could be a handful in south africa

  • trueanalyst on October 26, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Nehra took India to World cup finals in South Africa & was also very successful in IPL 2 in South Africa & hence should be automatic choice for South African tour.