Ashish Nehra might look like the man who just cannot stop having fun and smiling all the time. Time and again, the Indian players have called the ex-India pacer one of the funniest characters in the dressing room. But whenever he was on the field, he was a different character altogether.
Ashish Nehra was rarely seen smiling while being in action with the ball. And perhaps nothing defines his on-field character better than the infamous incident when he abused MS Dhoni for not taking a catch during an ODI against Pakistan in 2005.
Dhoni had just made his India debut and the team was then captained by Sourav Ganguly. The incident occurred in 2005 during the India versus Pakistan ODI in Ahmedabad. The swashbuckling Shahid Afridi was at the crease as Ashish Nehra bowled. As Afridi tried to hit the pacer’s delivery, the ball took a healthy edge of Afridi’s bat and flew between the wicketkeeper and the first slip fielder.
However, Dhoni failed to take the catch, much to the frustration of Ashish Nehra. The left-arm pacer then did not hold back and abused Dhoni for his mistake. And 15 years after that infamous incident, he revived the incident. The World Cup-winning pacer explained the incident and admitted that he is not at all proud of his behaviour.
“I distinctly remember that match in Visakhapatnam. It was the second ODI of that series. In a video that went viral, I am seen hurling abuses at MS after an edge off Shahid Afridi’s bat goes between Dhoni and Rahul Dravid at first slip. People assume it’s from the Vizag match, but that incident is from the fourth ODI in Ahmedabad. However, I must admit I am not proud of my behaviour,” Ashish Nehra told The Times of India.
“I had been hit for six by Afridi off just the previous ball. There was the usual pressure of an India-Pakistan match. Suddenly, I created a chance and it was missed. I lost my cool. That wasn’t the only incident where a player has lost his cool in that manner. Both Dravid and Dhoni were fine with me after the game but that doesn’t justify my behaviour,” he added.
Here is a clip of that incident:
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