Selections can even be embarrassing for sportspersons. Ask Ashish Nehra who has been picked for the three-match Twenty20 international series against Australia. “I am embarrassed when people call me up and congratulate me on my selection. After all, I am 38 years of age,” he told mid-day yesterday.
Nehra, who first played for India in the Asian Test Championship game against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo in 1999, indicated yesterday that he was asked by the selectors or team management whether he was available to do battle against the Australians in the shortest form of the game. “They inquired whether I would be able to play the Twenty20 series and I said yes. These days, I cannot play all formats, but I think I will be able to deliver in the forthcoming series,” said Nehra.
The left-arm pacer was last picked for the home Twenty20 series against England this year. He went wicket-less in two of the three games, but claimed three for 28 in the second game in Nagpur where India won by five runs after losing in Kanpur. The hosts clinched the series in Bangalore where England were bowled out for 127 to hand India a 75-run victory.
“I am taking it match-by-match, series by series. I think I will be able to bowl my quota of four overs to the best of my ability. “I performed well in the last IPL so I think the selectors must have seen that. I don’t feel I will be out of sorts against Australia. I am fortunate to have (Jasprit) Bumrah and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) in the pace department.
“Bumrah is the best in limited-overs business and the way he has bowled, he can be tried in Tests too,” said Nehra, who had no qualms in admitting he is injury-prone. “I’ve had 12 surgeries. It’s been a long journey since I made my debut (in 1999). Many legendary batsmen of India could not play at the age of 38 and I am a pace bowler… yet I made myself available to represent my country,” he added.