Ashish Nehra says he can play two more years for Indian cricket team

Indian cricket team pacer Ashish Nehra has revealed his struggles with a string of injuries in his career spanning over 19 years, and the veteran has admitted he has missed a lot of matches due to long injury layoffs.

Ashish Nehra is all set to make yet another comeback in international cricket, after suffering a hamstring injury while playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Nehra had earlier played in the T20I series against England.

He expects to play for another two years, but he said he realises the challenges a fast bowler faces at the age of 38.

“The only one thing that is not happy that I am still playing is my body,” Nehra was quoted by ESPNCricinfo. “I can play for another couple of years but it isn’t easy for a fast bowler at 38-39, especially considering the state of my body. But I am just trying my level best.”

At times when I wake up, especially in the winter in Delhi, my knees are so sore, it is half an hour before I can even leave my bed and am able to walk,” added Nehra.

“I have had four surgeries in my ankle, plus my knee is always sore. But again, after half an hour so I say it to myself that I have to do it. I am the kind of person that if I decide [I’ll do] something, I have to do it,” he said. “There’s no rocket science to this. You have to give 3-4 hours of the day to your body, definitely you will get the result. Some may get it later, but in the end, you will.”

Nehra rued the fact that due to several injuries throughout his career, he has missed a lot of cricket. “When you are young you don’t understand these things, you don’t understand the value of playing for India. In the last 7-8 years I missed so much cricket, maybe you can say I am trying to catch that up,” he said.

“You can never go back, but for the last 4-5 years I am pushing myself and I am getting the results,” said Nehra. “ My body has let me down, that’s why I am so upset with my body at times. I am a firm believer that if my body is okay I can still play and deliver. That’s why I am always aware of my body.”

The pacer said one of the reasons he has been able to return to cricket is because he works really hard on his conditioning.

“I am someone who always prepares,” he explained. “Even if no one is there at the ground, I practice. I just need a wicketkeeper who can take my balls. I bowl a lot at a single wicket, I put pressure on myself. After bowling I will do some fielding. My practice sessions are not too long, they are an hour and a half to two hours. But I keep that intensity going so when I play the game I don’t feel sore.”

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