April 29, 1979, Delhi
Right hand Bat
Left arm Medium fast
Ashish Nehra had most of the virtues of a classical left-arm fast bowler - pace, accuracy, subtle variations of line and length, an ability to move the ball off the wicket, and a devastating late inswinger that could harass the best. But with all those gifts came a curse: a brittle body that may well have contributed to him playing his last Test as early as 2004. Still, T20 cricket, with its cap of only four overs, gave Nehra a lifeline, and at 36 he revived his international career, having rediscovered the ability to move the ball at 140kph, to become one of India's most successful bowlers in the 2016 T20 World Cup.
Nehra came out of his first full tour - to Zimbabwe in 2000-01 - with his reputation as one of the most promising new-ball bowlers on the international circuit vastly enhanced, and his performance in Bulawayo in that series played a key role in India winning a Test outside the subcontinent for the first time in 15 years. He struggled to establish himself thereafter, as inconsistency and injuries saw him slip down the pace-bowling list.
The high point of that difficult period came in the 2003 World Cup against England, where he took 6 for 23. Surgery on a troublesome ankle, and an indifferent tour of Australia, followed. He pulled out midway through the 2005 Zimbabwe tour and had a succession of operations on his ankle that slowed down his career. He hit the headlines with creditable showings in the IPL, particularly in the second season, and was recalled to the ODI squad for the tour of the West Indies in June 2009.
His 31 ODI wickets in 2009 were the most he had ever taken in a year, and he followed it up with 28 in 2010 to establish his place in India's 2011 World Cup squad. He bowled a match-winning spell against Pakistan in the semi-final of that tournament, but his body failed him again - an on-field injury prevented him from playing the final, which India won to become world champions.
In the IPL, Nehra took 22 wickets for Chennai Super Kings in 2015, willing himself back into contention for India, whom he helped whitewash Australia 3-0 in a T20I series in 2015-16. He took that run of fine form into the Asia Cup and the 2016 T20 World Cup before calling it a day.
Nehra moved into coaching in the IPL after that, as bowling coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore for two seasons, and in 2022 was Gujarat Titans head coach when they won the title in their first year in the tournament.
Ashish Nehra Career Stats
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