Pune: He may have lost his place with Team India but Ashish Nehra keeps the selectors’ brains ticking with doing good performances in the domestic circuit. Thursday in season eight of the Indian Premier League was the same for him.
In his team Chennai Super Kings’ opening game of IPL8, Nehra turned a corner to deliver a Man-of-the-Match performance with a three-wicket spell in CSK’s thrilling one-run win over Delhi Daredevils in an edge-of-the-seat last-over finish.
Nehra’s 3 for 25 at top of the Delhi innings unsettled their chase of an average 150 and the left-arm pacer feels his MoM would have meant nothing had his team lost.
“It was a perfect start not only for me but for the team as well. We won by one run. Had we lost and I got the Man of the Match, I would have been disappointed. Winning makes it special,” he told the official IPL website in a post-match interview.
Nehra said his team was confident of making a match of it after reaching 150 since these thereabout totals are always “tricky to chase”.
“These totals of 140-160 are always tricky to chase. These are the games that get close in the end about 70-80 per cent of times. If you bowl well, you can really take it till the end. We did that today and kept our nerves in the end,” Nehra said.
Nehra says he looks to attack the batsman whatever the situation as picking wickets gives the team best chance of winning a match.
“I have been someone who always looks to attack. When you’re defending a total of 150, you have to pick wickets upfront and that’s what we looked to do today. We kept it tight and got wickets,” he added.
Nehra also reserved a special word for fellow CSK pacer Mohit Sharma, saying he has grown as a bowler with his time with the Indian team.
“I have seen a lot of improvement in Mohit. He has been playing non-stop cricket after the CLT20 and his length has improved. The most important thing is that his confidence level has risen to a great extent. He is more aware of his game now and has clear plans. He is an amazing fielder too and that makes him a great asset to have in a team.”