Old soldier Nehra comprehends the latest nuances of pace bowling but his reluctance to embrace technology made considerable news on the social media platforms during the ICC World Twenty20.
There are hints though that the 37-year-old Nehraji is changing!
Left-armers Nehra and Irfan Pathan were in a right mood for a conversation here on Sunday. The two were here as guest of honour at the launch of the logo, jersey and song of Chepauk Super Gillies team.
Nehra said he was recovering from fitness concerns and was not yet battle ready. “Many times people mix things up, between a player being injured and a player being unfit. A cricketer who is injured will need treatment and recovery period but someone who is basically unfit will struggle to perform his basic tasks as a cricketer.”
Talking about Twenty20 cricket, Nehra said, “You cannot really judge batsmen in this format. But you can judge a bowler.”
“In a format essentially designed to favour batsmen, the bowlers, who were up against it, had responded skilfully,” Nehra said. Talking about pace bowling, he said a yorker never went out of fashion.
Nehra felt the India Cements-Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) would encourage youngsters, provide them with a platform.
He spoke about his bond with India Test captain Virat Kohli and dwelt on a photograph taken several summers ago where Kohli, then a school boy, is seen receiving a prize from Nehra. “That picture has become famous because of Kohli and what he has accomplished, not me.”
Irfan said, “When I am asked whether I have any regrets in my career, I tell them, “The question disrespects the fact that I have 300 international wickets.” I deserve some credit for my performances. I am only 31 and I have a lot of cricket left.”
The all-rounder said he would be attempting a comeback to the Indian team this season. “Last year, I was just feeling my way back after recovering from injury.
“This year, I would be playing a lot more.”
Irfan spoke about his affection for Chennai where he spent considerable time in his formative years, honing his skills at the MRF Pace Foundation. “I can never forget those days under Dennis Lillee. Then I have been with Chennai Super Kings. The crowds here are so sporting.”
The left-armers were indeed in the thick of things in the city.