Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has come out in support of his old friend Ashish Nehra who was recently included in the Indian cricket team for the three-match T20I series against Australia starting October 7 in Ranchi. Sehwag said that age should not be a criterion for selection and asked if Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar can play till the age of 42 and 40 respectively, why can’t Nehra do the same. “I don’t think age should be the criteria to play in the world cup. If Nehra is fit, picking up wickets and giving away less runs, then why not? Sanath Jayasuriya played till 42, Sachin Tendulkar played till the age of 40 then why not Ashish Nehra?” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.
38-year-old Ashish Nehra’s inclusion in the Indian cricket team came as a surprise for many, especially when the next T20 World Cup is three years away. However, Virender Sehwag who is also Nehra’s childhood friend believes that the left-arm fast bowler has a lot to contribute to the country. “I was not at all surprised with Nehra’s selection in the T20I team against Australia. I am very happy that he is a part of the team and I want him to play more matches in future,” Sehwag told India TV on Wednesday.
Interestingly, Nehra was selected for the Indian team only after clearing the ‘yo-yo’ endurance test in which he scored almost at par with captain Virat Kohli. Sehwag said that Nehra’s score was almost 17-18 which is also Virat Kohli’s score who is probably the fittest Indian cricketer at the moment. The former Indian opener said that Nehra likes to stay fit and spends at least 7-8 hours in the gym every day.
Nehra’s last game for India came against England earlier this year. The 38-year-old has picked up 34 wickets in 25 T20 internationals so far. Here is India’s squad for the T20 series against Australia:
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel.