Nehra: I am trying to do my best

Ashish Nehra, in his second wind, is bowling like a dream, is not even thinking about retirement and also keeping a fit-again Mohammed Shami out.

Ashish Nehra is confident of his team doing well in the ongoing World Twenty20.   -  PTI

“I look in the dressing room, and most of these guys are very young. Rangana Herath and I are the dinosaurs. It feels a bit surreal to play cricket with people of their age.” This was Kumar Sangakkara, describing himself in a rather charming way, a few days before his retirement.

Turn to the Indian World T20 team and it’s easy to decipher who fits this description the best. And when he says, “I am not on social media, and I’m still using my old Nokia,” it’s indeed dinosaur-like. Only that Ashish Nehra, in his second wind, is bowling like a dream, is not even thinking about retirement and also keeping a fit-again Mohammed Shami out.



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“I’m loving it!” he said on Tuesday. “Whatever responsibility the captain and the team management have given me, I’m trying to do the best. I will try to play as long as my body holds up. I wasn’t somebody just working hard to play domestic cricket or IPL.”

On Wednesday though, the focus might well be on India’s batters who, except for Virat Kohli, haven’t really fired. Nehra, though, begged to differ. “That’s the way it goes in India,” he said. “People live in the moment, the same day. The last two games it was like 118, 120-run games. So they didn’t score. But before that, Shikhar Dhawan was Man-of-the-Match in the Asia Cup final and somebody like Rohit Sharma has been performing so well.”

Nehra also sought to highlight how much Bangladesh had improved. “The way Bangladesh has progressed in the last 2-3-4 years is amazing. You name it, Tamim Iqbal or Mustafizur Rahman. They have so many good cricketers coming up, and they’ve been part of IPL, Big Bash or Caribbean Premier League. It’s good for world cricket, the way Bangladesh has been playing.”

Shakib Al Hasan agreed. “The mindset has certainly changed,” he said. “Now we know how we can win games. We have more contributors. Previously there used to be two or three guys. Now there are four, five.”

On recent evidence from the tournament though, Bangladesh has much to improve and Shakib, ahead of the do-or-die clash, seemed certainly mindful of it.

“First six overs with our batting,” he said. “We scored only 30 runs in six overs against Australia. Normally, here in India most teams are scoring 45 to 50 runs. We lost the game there. If we had scored 15-20 more, it would have been a different ball-game.

“Batsmen who are getting runs need to contribute bit more to finish the game. We didn’t field well too. We are doing well in general, but there are areas to be improved.”