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I always aspired to Ashish’s extra bounce – Zaheer Khan

I always aspired to Ashish's extra bounce - Zaheer Khan

Ashish is very expressive became evident right from the moment I met him for the first time in 2001 during the Zimbabwe tour. He likes talking and this is something you really cannot escape from so you just have to sit and listen to him.

Ashish’s strength, if I may say so, is that he has always been very realistic in his approach towards things, be it life or cricket. And that is something he has advised us, too. If there were times when you were not putting in the desired effort with regard to your game he was never shy of pointing that out. You do need a friend like that if you are slacking off or not putting in the desired effort that needed to be put in. He was very vocal about that and he was not afraid to tell me that.

Series: New Zealand tour of India, 2017

The performance that comes to my mind is him running through England in the 2003 World Cup. Mind you, Ashish almost did not play against England. He had been on the bench in the first two matches, and then he returned back after bowling just one ball against Namibia, having slipped on the ball.

Unfortunately for Indian cricket, not just me, he had to cut short his Test career (17 Tests with the last one in 2004) to prolong his international career. The way he had started he was right up there in terms of a Test-match bowler. A really 110% Ashish Nehra would have been a real threat in Test cricket. When you look at Ashish’s numbers, if his body had allowed him he would have been an amazing Test-match bowler and an asset for Indian cricket.

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