Best bowling performances of Ashish Nehra
We will look at the best bowling performances of Ashish Nehra over the years. With a physique resembling a large pole with limbs and legs, Ashish Nehra is a tall fast bowler from Delhi. Known for his inconsistencies with the ball, he has had an injury hit career.
Sustaining back and ankle injuries, Ashish Nehra could not cement his place after some good performances for India. He was part of the 2003 Indian World Cup team which reached the finals and the 2011 World Cup winning team. The latter saw a flop show of Nehra where he conceded 16 runs in four balls when he had just 13 runs to defend, but the former had some noteworthy performances from Nehra. He scalped 15 wickets in 9 matches at an average of 19.26 runs per wicket in the World Cup.
Here’s his top 5:
This match was one of the nightmares which India will want to forget. Chasing 288, India were bowled out for just 88 runs. The only positive out of this match for India was the bowling performance of Ashish Nehra picking up 4 wickets to restrict the Kiwis to 288 when they looked good for a score over 320.
Nehra always had the habit of picking up wickets against Sri Lanka. This was the final match of the Asia Cup and India had only 268 runs to defend on a pitch which behaved better under the lights. With a good batting order, the Sri Lankans were favourites to chase this down. But not when Ashish Nehra was precise in his line and length. He sent back Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Mathews very early and made sure India clinched the title that year.
Ashish Nehra was on song throughtout the 2003 World Cup. This match was one of the most one-sided matches of the 2003 World Cup. India putting on 292 runs after being sent in to bat first had to use only 3 bowlers to pick up all the 10 Sri Lankan wickets. Javagal Srinath made the early inroads and Ashish Nehra did a perfect job by cleaning up the tail.
It was the final match of the Indian Oil Cup. Sri Lanka after winning the toss elected to bat on a flat track, a pitch where all bowlers struggled to take wickets. Ashish Nehra showcased his talent by picking up six wickets, the lone wicket taker for India. He was right on the money whenever his captain brought him into the attack. A late assault by Chaminda Vaas in the final over of the match with 3 hits to the fence spoiled his figures. India chasing 281, fell short by 18 runs.
There is not much debate in choosing his best bowling performance. With just 250 on board, India needed some top bowling to defend that below par score. Javagal Srinath and Zaheer had already done the early damage by picking two quick wickets and putting England on the back foot giving away just 28 runs in 12 overs. Ganguly threw the ball to Ashish Nehra and what followed was an impressive bowling performance from him.
Coming over the wicket, Ashish Nehra seamed the ball away from the batsmen and at times moved the ball into them with some late swing. He bowled with decent pace and didn’t give any room for the batsmen to cut. Alec Stewart, who was out leg before wicket was the only batsmen not to get out in the slip cordon.
Bowling 10 overs straight, Nehra ended with his career best bowling figures of 6 for 23 runs which the third best bowling performance in a World Cup then. Soon, this record was eclipsed by Glenn McGrath and Andy Bichel in the same edition of ICC World Cup. This spell of his life guided India to a emphatic 82 run win over England.
Sourav Ganguly, Nehra's captain, after the emphatic win said: "He had a swollen ankle for two days and it was sheer determination that made him play the match. He bowled a fantastic line. It was one of the best performances in a one-day international that I have seen since I started playing for India.".
However, after being ignored from national duty since the World Cup in 2011, Nehra is still finding it hard to make a come back into the national team.