Rohit, Dhawan break both records and New Zealand
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma hit 80 apiece, putting on the highest opening partnership for India in T20Is, to carry the hosts to 202, a score they defended by 53 runs to register their first T20I win against New Zealand
Right then, so the Nehra era ends with a thumping victory over the now-former No. 1-ranked T20I team in the world. That is all we have for today, but there is still cricket left on this tour. New Zealand will be hurting and itching to hit back with a vengeance when the two teams meet again for the second T20I in Rajkot. Join us then. Goodbye, and thank you for joining us.
Arijit: "End of A Nehra! Seriously, this marks the end of an era!"
"I was very happy with the way I batted today. It was needed because I hadn't really performed in T20 internationals," says Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan. "It wasn't an easy wicket. Rohit started slowly, so I took over and did the scoring. I feel like I can play anywhere on the ground. I've got all the shots. All three formats are very important for me. I love all three formats and I love this game. I've got the belief that I can perform in all three formats and I make sure my processes and fitness are in place so I can compete with 25-year olds."
srinivasan: "Some great cricketers dint get such a wonderful retirement reception as has Ashish nehra. Destiny rewards a jovial character and a never say die attitude. "
Nagendira: "Though Nehraji is smiling, I can feel his emotions.... Great person...I still remember Nehraji's tidy spells in ODI's between 40-50 overs where he rushes in his overs and asks the keeper to give the ball back quickly when the batsmen gets beaten...."
Prasanna S: "Nehra's career is an example for everyone on how not to give up including the Indian selectors, who I believe were little harsh on not picking him between 2011 and 2015. Age never matters, skill and passion is. Good bye Nehra!!"
Suvadip Chakrab: "Ashish Nehra was and will always be an inspiration to all those thinner guys like me .... And you have also proved that a man can be smarter even without a smart-phone ... #ThankYouNehraJi ..."
Kaushal: "Always good to see a player retire on a high. Sehwag, Laxman, Dravid, Zaheer did not have this privilege that Nehra has rightfully earned through his hardwork. As Nehra told to cricinfo "Better to retire when people ask you why rather than why not""
"Very clinical performance with the whole team," says Virat Kohli. "I thought the wicket was damp but Rohit and Shikhar were outstanding. And with the ball as well, we were brilliant. The bowlers bowled where they should and the fielders backed it up. That catch by Hardik Pandya is one of the best I have seen. Shikhar's one-day game is so good and he always wanted to convert that into T20 as well. I think his adaptability was spot-on today and he unleashed all the shots he had. In T20 cricket,you need to keep picking wickets to win games and it's always nice to have options. Using Hardik at 6 and Axar at 7 gave us those options. As a captain, you always need an extra option to pick wickets. That was back in 2003 after he had come back from the World Cup. I was 13 then and struggling for a place in the school team. To have played 19 years is very hard for a fast bowler. I know how professional he's been and how hard he's worked. He deserved this kind of a farewell with the crowd cheering him. He can now spend time with his family, he's got a beautiful family. We'll stay in touch but we'll miss him and I wish him all the best."
"A disappointing performance from us in all areas," says Kane Williamson. "One that stands out is the fielding. We were very poor there. I don't think we can use the ground conditions as an excuse.India were superb and played better. When you're chasing a total like that which was certainly many above par, you do need to take risks. It was disappointing but we will be back in Rajkot. We couldn't quite use the spinners the way we would have liked to, which was to control the rate of scoring, but they bowled very well. I would like to congratulate Ashish Nehra on a fabulous career. Always a gentleman."
10.20pm Ashish Nehra can finish proudly. Eighteen years in international cricket for a fast bowler has been quite the feat. And it's been no walk in the park. The mind has been willing, but the body has often refused to co-operate. Dozens of surgeries and months and months of rehab, but the man willed on and never gave up. It's been a rocky ride often, but Nehra finishes his career a cheerful and happy man. He takes a lap of honour around the ground he grew up playing his cricket in and soaks in a richly-deserved ovation from the Kotla faithful. His team-mates cheer and applaud him as they strut along behind him.The crowd has their phones out and they camera lights are flashing in full strength. Signs of Nehraji pop up from every corner of the ground. And now his long-time Delhi team-mates Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan hoist him up on their shoulders as he waves energetically at the crowd.
Bhargav: "Wish nehraji had the physical training support the modern players have"
Prash Sharma: "I recall at the 2003 World Cup against England at Durban - Nehra bowled a ball at 93.3mph. It went almost unnoticed by the commentators at the time. He took 6 / 23 in one of the greatest spells ever by an Indian bowler. It was remarkable at the time, but I will never forget that 93.3mph ball. I wonder if an Indian has bowled a quicker ball since, or will bowl a quicker ball again ,,," If my memory serves me right, Ishant Sharma once sent down a 153-kmph/95-mile delivery in Australia during the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank series, and that remains the fastest delivery bowled by an Indian in international cricket.
"I will miss all this. That's what you train for," the man says. "One thing which will definitely be at peace will be my body. I said earlier that I can go a couple more years, but there can't be a better time to walk away. I must be the one bowler who sent down the last over most number of times for India. But those times were different; there was no pressure today. The game has changed a lot since I started playing. I played my first game here in 1997. The rules have changed and so many runs are being scored. But whatever happens, this team is here to stay. The future of Indian cricket is in safe hands for the next six-seven years. I have played under many different people, but it has been a memorable journey. I was telling Viru also this; he scored so many runs, but people still call him Multan ka Sultan, so you are remembered for a particular moment. At times, you pick up wickets off bad balls, but as a cricketer, you in front of a mirror need to realise how well you are playing and what you need to do. There are so many people who asked me if I would have liked to play Test cricket. But you can see the glass as half-full or half-empty. I last played Test cricket when I was 24 or 25, but at the end, to have played for 18 years and to be here standing in blue clothing and to have played my final match, I could not have asked for anything more. I have no regrets. I am always happy, retired or otherwise."
Manish Vanotra : "Got goosebumps watching Ashish Nehra bowl his last ball in cricket"
Kirti Sanchana: "My first comment on Cricinfo for the farewell match of Ashish Nehra.. Although wicketless (due to some dropped catches), he has the least economy among fast bowlers today in such a high scoring match! Hats off.."
Santhosh Nair: "Newzealand's players all put together in 20 overs were not able to chase down opening stand of 158 between Dhawan and Rohit! "
Samrat Ahuja: "This match sums up Nehra's career aptly, always efficient but never the great leader of pack. Having said that, part of me feels empty as last standing man of our era is now retired!!"
Rama: "Guess what, after all this Nehraji finishes his career with the least expensive fast bowler of this match (a wkt or two would have been nice). "
Suyash : "All I managed to remember about Nehra is his spell against Pakistan in WC2011. "
Viru: "This has been a game of local boys - Dhawan's exuberance, Kohli's cameo and Nehra ji doing the final honors. Real fun for the spectators !!!"
Right then, folks. Nehraji's final act in international cricket. Kohli spurs the crowd on.
Ashish Nehra. For the final time in international cricket. Kotla with an outpouring of appreciation for the local hero.
Om: "Nehraji should be given to bowl 1 over. Hopefully he completes his international career on a high with a wicket" Maybe Kohli is saving him for the last over - hoping NZ don't get all out by then - so Nehra's can be the final act in the match.