Nehra can be India’s next bowling coach

There are indications that the Board may offer him the job since Nehra’s on-field participation is restricted to T20 and India does not have many engagements in this format.

Nehra's excellent reading of the game is said to be the clinching factor for his name doing the rounds for the bowling coach’s job.   -  K. R. DEEPAK

In times of intense analysis of bowlers and batsmen, it has become imperative for the players to stay a step ahead of the opponent. Instant tactical measures in the T20 format and sustained planning in the longer format have made the roles of specialist coaches an essential part of the campaign.

Most former greats slip into dedicated coaching. A fielding coach too has become a necessary member of the support staff. Like most teams India too has employed the services of specialists with former Test cricketers B. Arun and Sanjay Bangar as assistant coaches, and Ravi Shastri saddled with the role of team director.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India, however, needs to renew their contracts before the tour of Zimbabwe in June. Arun is said to be well-versed in shaping the bowlers with emphasis on getting the best out of them in pressure situations. Bangar also has a similar task at hand. Even though the Board is reportedly satisfied with the work of the support staff there is a likelihood of Ashish Nehra being drafted in to lend his experience to the fast bowlers.

Nehra has emerged a front-runner for the bowling coach’s job even as Zaheer Khan had been tipped to assume the responsibility. Nehra and Zaheer share a wonderful chemistry when it comes to guiding the youngsters and they have received commendable praise for their ability to create a comfortable platform for the youngsters to perform.

Both are known to share their bowling skills readily. The admission by Bhuvneshwar Kumar of help from Nehra at Sunrisers Hyderabad is an example of a young bowler publicly acknowledging the senior partner’s contribution. Nehra was known to guide the Delhi bowlers on similar lines to make the captain’s job easy on the field.

At the last T20 World Cup and the preceding assignments against Australia, Sri Lanka and in the Asia Cup, Nehra, 37, emerged a valuable member of the side, guiding the bowlers with timely inputs on the field. It was a role he had enacted for a long time and led to a greater involvement with the team’s preparation. He is a busy man at the nets and on the field.

There are indications that the Board may offer him the job since Nehra’s on-field participation is restricted to T20 and India does not have many engagements in this format. His excellent reading of the game is said to be the clinching factor for his name doing the rounds for the bowling coach’s job.