Reports have surfaced that Ashish Nehra may call time on his international career soon. He made a comeback to the T20I squad against Australia but he has failed to get a game so far. His inclusion was shocking as the BCCI and team management have set strict fitness regulations before being considered for national selection.
The new Yo-Yo Test saw the likes of veterans Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina being left out of the national squad. But Nehra who hardly plays any domestic fixture now seems to have passed the test as he has been well-rested and prepared himself well by adopting the old-school approach of running than grinding it out in the gym.
Nevertheless, at 38, Nehra is not getting any younger and it is highly unlikely he will persist and instead would choose to go on his own terms to give other youngsters a chance in the squad. Reports say that Nehra may retire during the New Zealand series in front of his home crowd at Delhi.
Nehra last played a T20I against England in March and picked up three wickets in the three T20Is. He was highly successful last year, taking 18 wickets in 15 T20Is, spearheading the bowling attack with youngsters such as Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
But it looks doubtful that Nehra will like to continue ahead. If Nehra does retire sooner or later, he will do a Rahul Dravid and Sanath Jayasuriya who have called time on their international career when they were recalled to the ODI squad.
In the 2011 disastrous Test series in England which India lost 0-4, Dravid was the only saving grace, hitting three tons. Selectors recalled Dravid to the following ODI series. Dravid had last played an ODI in 2010 and had virtually retired from the limited-overs cricket at the international stage before he was shocked to hear his inclusion for the five-match ODI series against England. Dravid promptly called time on his ODI career, but went to play the five ODI matches. He scored 69 in his last ODI of his career.
Sanath Jayasuriya too met a similar fate to that of Dravid. Jayasuriya had last played an ODI in 2009 before he too was shocked to hear of being included in the limited-overs series in England in 2011. Jayasuriya announced retirement, stating the first ODI at The Oval will be his last 50-overs game and first T20I at Bristol his last game in this format. Jayasuriya scored 2 and 8 in his last two international games.
So, will Nehra do a Dravid and Jayasuriya?