Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Veteran India left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra has expressed his interest in representing his country at the Champions Trophy in June.
While Nehra hasn’t featured in an ODI since the 2011 World Cup, he made his international comeback in the recent three-match Twenty20 series against England.
It should be noted that even though he wasn’t able to take any wickets in the first and third game, he did have an impact with the ball in the second Twenty20 International as he finished with figures of 3-28.
With the Champions Trophy being held in England in June, Nehra’s time frame to prove himself is getting ever narrower, but the 37-year-old is hoping to capture the attention of the national selectors when he plays for Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, India’s domestic 50-over competition.
In addition to wanting to play in the tournament, Nehra also wants to give back to Indian cricket and feels that his vast amount of experience can be highly beneficial to the young up and coming talents in the squad.
“I would love to play in the Champions Trophy,” Nehra told ESPNcricinfo. “When you go to England you will take at least four fast bowlers in addition to two spinners. I know I can bowl anywhere: up front, in the middle overs and at death. I can also share the experience I have with the other young fast bowlers.”
Opening up more on his Vijay Hazare Trophy plans, Nehra revealed that he plans to feature in at least three games in order to prove that he is still fit enough to play 50-over cricket.
“I aim to play at least three matches to build up my match-fitness,” he said. “Fifty overs is a different challenge and Vijay Hazare is a good platform to test myself.
“I bowl about eight overs even in the nets while preparing for a T20 match. It is not about fitness. It is about the feel of playing in a 50-over match. Once I play these matches I will be fit enough to play and good to go for the Champions Trophy.”
As for what the future holds after the Champions Trophy, Nehra admitted that his chances of playing in the 2019 World Cup are slim at best, but he is still clinging on to the small strand of hope that he will have the opportunity to don the India jersey in a World Cup once more before his illustrious career comes to an end.
“The 2019 World Cup is still two-and-a-half years away,” he said. “We are going to play at least 50 one-dayers in between. For me every tournament is important. I will try to play as much as I can.”