For a bowler of Ashish Nehra’s calibre, playing just 17 Tests does not sound good. He made his debut in 1999 through Test cricket only but never really managed to cement his place in the side. Who can forget his performance in the Bulawayo Test against Zimbabwe in 2001 that helped India win a Test outside the subcontinent for the first time in 15 years.
But he failed to live up to the lofty expectations in Tests. More than his performance, it was his struggles with fitness that never allowed him to excel in the longest and most demanding format of the game. While Ashish Nehra retired from international cricket in 2017, his final Test appearance came way back in 2004.
In a recent interview, Ashish Nehra revealed that he was offered to play Test cricket by MS Dhoni in 2009 but he turned it down. The ex-pacer also revealed that he regrets that decision a bit now.
“I didn’t play for India between 2005 and 2009. A lot had changed in Indian cricket in that time. When I made a comeback, Dhoni was leading India. However, it was not that we were not on talking terms during that period. Dhoni had offered me Test cricket again in 2009, which I declined. Looking back, I do regret that decision a bit,” he told The Times of India.
2009 was the year when Ashish Nehra made a return to the Indian team after a long absence. He made an instant remark and picked up 31 wickets in ODIs that year. Ashish Nehra followed it up with 28 dismissals in 2010 to establish his place in India’s 2011 World Cup squad. He went on to play an integral role in the World Cup win before being dropped again for five years. He made another comeback in 2016 before retiring from the game in the following year.
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