When Nehra bamboozled batsmen with the ball

After 18 years of international cricket, as Ashish Nehra's swansong looms on the horizon, we revisit the bowlings spells that had established him as India's go-to bowler at one time.

A tall, lanky fast bowler operating under lights and angling the ball in from over the wicket - That was Ashish Nehra in 2003, when in a crucial World Cup tie against England, he ran through a clueless middle order to return mindboggling figures of 6 for 23. England lost the match and Nehra, though briefly, boasted the best numbers by anyone in a World Cup game outside Headingley. Photo: Getty Images
In the final of Indian Oil Cup 2005, Ashish Nehra came close to bettering his own World Cup tally against England, bagging 6 for 59 to prevent a rampaging Sri Lankan unit from getting to 300. India lost the final by 18 runs but Nehra's spell established him as the team's go-to bowler in crunch situations. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
India versus Pakistan in a World Cup semifinal at Mohali - it doesn't get bigger than this. And Nehra's love affair with the game's biggest stage, eight years down the line, was on full display again as the left-armer quelled Pakistan's hopes with figures of 2 for 33. India went on to win the title- its second in 28 years - and although an unfortunate injury kept Nehra out of action at Wankhede, he had been one of the chief architects of India's watershed moment. Photo: AFP
Against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup tie last year, the Delhi pacer's 3 for 23 propelled India to a 45-run victory at Dhaka. Chasing 167 to win in 20 overs, Bangladesh began positively before losing wickets in a heap. The seasoned bowler came back in the death overs to remove Mahmudullah and Mortaza in two balls to cap off an impressive Twenty20 performance. Photo: AFP