Don’t feel ‘rusty’, says Ashish Nehra

Nagpur (Maharashtra)[India], Jan. 30 : Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, who played an important role alongside Jasprit Bumrah during India's thrilling victory in Nagpur T20 against England, has insisted that all he needs is just a practice match to 'get into the groove', adding that he doesn't feel himself to be 'rusty'.

Nehra took two English wickets in successive balls and then took one more crucial wicket in the later part of the innings to hand over his side a narrow five-run win over the Eoin Morgan-led side.

"Whether I'm playing 50 overs or T20 or if I'm bowling in the nets with a single stump to aim at, I've never felt short of match practice.

It takes me only one game to get back into the groove," he said while addressing the media in the post-match press conference.

"I don't see that there has to be so many games under Ashish Nehra's belt before he plays. I played last game after 7-8 months. But I didn't feel I was short of practice. But I don't see myself or I don't feel myself that must rusty." The left-arm pacer played last in the T2o World Cup in 2016 and then the subsequent Indian Premier League (IPL) before taking a break from cricket to undergo a knee surgery.

"I will play domestic cricket in the coming months - 50 overs and T20 and there's IPL too for two months.

I believe if you've been playing so much for so long, match practice is very important whether you're a bowler or batsman People like me or MS Dhoni who are not playing Test cricket right now, have to play domestic games and ultimately experience does matter," he said.

The 37-year-old further heaped praise on Bumrah, who bowled exceptional last two overs of his spell and helped his side level the series 1-1.

"Bumrah always backs himself. He is very good at death bowling and I only hope he gets better and better with age," he said. "The way he is growing as a bowler, I am sure he will prove to be an asset for the Indian team in the coming years," he added.

Nehra insisted that it was important for India to pick up early wickets as they were defending a small total.

"When you are defending a small total of 130, 140 odd, you need to take wickets up front. That's what we did in this game. I took two wickets which ultimately out England under pressure," he said. He also insisted that it the mental toughness which one requires to bowl at the death. "When you are bowling at death, you are always under pressure as a bowler, especially in this format of the game.

But still, you have to back yourself. This was not the first time for us (Me and Bumrah) to bowl at death. You have to mentally back yourself when you are bowling at the death and say you can do it," he said. "You can practice it at the nets but I personally feel it's the mental toughness which is most important," he added.

The two teams will next face each other in what one can expect to be another thrilling series decider at the M.

Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday..

Source: ANI