India aim to make Nehra’s swansong memorable at Kotla

New Delhi: Veteran Indian pacer Ashish Nehra will bid adieu to his illustrious 18-year international career when he turned out one last time for the Men in Blue in the first T20I of the three-match series against New Zealand at his home ground later today.

Coming on the back of a 2-1 ODI series win against New Zealand, the Virat Kohli-led side will be aiming to continue their impressive run of form when they head into the opening T20I at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

India, who have never beaten the Kiwis in T20Is, will be looking to break this jinx and give a befitting farewell to Nehra by ending his cricketing career with a win.

Earlier, Nehra had confirmed that he would be retiring from all forms of cricket after the T20I match against the Kane Williamson-led side on November 1.

“I have decided that, and it is my own decision. I have spoken to the team management as well as the chairman of the selection committee. The match on November 1 against New Zealand in Delhi will be my last. There’s no bigger thing than that you retiring at your home town. I played my first Ranji Trophy here match 20 years back,” Nehra had said.

The 38-year-old had also said that he has spoken with the Indian cricket team management and also with MSK Prasad, the chairman of the selection committee, regarding his decision to retire at his home town.

Nehra had further revealed that it was not an overnight decision and that he had given a good thought to it, keeping in mind the way Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been bowling in the past few months.

It should be noted that Nehra, who plays for Delhi in the Indian Premier League (IPL), will also not play in the country’s T20 League after his retirement.

The left-arm pacer, who made his India debut back in 1999 against Sri Lanka in Colombo, represented the country in 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 T20Is.

However, Nehra has been hit with a long string of injuries like ankle, bowel, hamstring, shoulder and back injuries throughout his 18-year long career. And this is the main reason why a bowler of his calibre struggled to cement his place in the national side.

During the said period, he underwent as many as 12 surgeries and many other small setbacks.

As a fast bowler, he has picked up 44 Test wickets, besides 157 ODI and 34 T20 wickets.

Nehra is best remembered for his superb bowling spell against England at Durban in the 2003 ICC World Cup, where he picked six wickets for just 23 runs.

The two squads are as follows:

India: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.