Ashish Nehra not guaranteed place in playing XI for farewell match, says MSK Prasad
The 16-man T20I Indian squad for the New Zealand series was announced on Monday.
What's the story?
Chief selector MSK Prasad refused to give any guarantee regarding Ashish Nehra's selection for the 1st T20I of the three-match series between India and New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla on November 1 - a match slated to be Nehra's final one in cricket.
As expected, Nehra was picked for only the first match of the series as the selection committee named the Indian squad for the T20 series and MSK Prasad shared his thoughts regarding Nehra's inclusion for the Delhi T20I.
"Whether he (Nehra) is going to play or not, is clearly the decision of the team management. There are no assurances from our side (selectors), whether he is going to play or not. It will purely be decided by the team management," Prasad told reporters in Mumbai.
Ashish Nehra's story has been an inspiring one for many bowlers as the lanky speedster made several comebacks to the Indian team despite his struggles with injuries.
The latest comeback came during the T20I series against Australia but ahead of the Hyderabad T20I between the two sides, Nehra announced that he would be retiring from all forms of the game after the match at Delhi against New Zealand.
The heart of the matter
Nehra's decision to retire and ask for a farewell match was not one that escaped controversy with former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar criticising the BCCI for giving into emotions and accepting Nehra's plea.
MSK Prasad made it clear though that the selectors had communicated to the pacer that they would be considering him only till the New Zealand series as they are looking to the future and will be aiming to push players from the India A side to the national setup.
Nehra had also stated that he felt that it was the right time to go as the Indian fast bowling battery was in safe hands with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah leading the pack efficiently.
The T20I series begins on November 1, with the first match, which will also be the last of Nehra's career, taking place at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi.
The second T20I will take place at Rajkot on November 4 with the final T20I at Thiruvananthapuram on November 7.
Emotions or not, the BCCI selection committee has gone ahead with Ashish Nehra's selection for the Delhi T20I and it is now up to the Indian team management to decide whether Nehra features in the playing XI on the day.
Despite MSK Prasad's comments, it will be a big surprise if Nehra doesn't get picked in the playing XI.