Nehra picks Dhoni as one of the two shrewdest cricketing brains

Source : SIFY
Last Updated: Tue, Oct 31, 2017 11:52 hrs

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Who has impressed Ashish Nehra the most with his cricketing acumen in his 20 years in the sport?

"For me, Ajay Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the two shrewdest cricketing brains I have ever interacted with," said Nehra in a chat with news agency PTI ahead of his final competitive match against New Zealand on November 1.

Nehra, 38, has played with many generations of Indian cricket under four different coaches namely John Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and now Ravi Shastri.

"I didn't play much under Greg Chappell save two series in 2005 (in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe). Mujhe pahle series se hi maloom thaa yeh biryani, khichdi bannewali hain Greg ke under (I knew biryani would turn into Khichdi under Greg).

"That's where Gary (Kirsten) was such a superb coach. He discussed strategies with MS (Dhoni) but on field, he never interfered with MS' style of functioning. But I still believe Chappell could have been a terrific coach for juniors," Nehra observed.

Nehra feels India's current head coach Ravi Shastri is the ideal foil for aggressive skipper Virat Kohli.

"Look Virat's career and captaincy are on auto-pilot mode right now. He knows what he is doing and leads by example. He doesn't need gyaan (sermons) but support which Ravi gives him in abundance," he said.

"You know the best part about Ravi. If a player is going through a rough patch, he is the man. Even if the player is not able to middle a single ball in the nets, Ravi would make him believe that he is as good as Brain Lara! Now that might sound ludicrous to an outsider but those who understand cricket know that this is man-management," he said.

The veteran also gave his take on what an ideal coach-captain relationship, without taking Anil Kumble's name, in a subtle way.

"If a coach, suppose is 50 years old and the captain is 28, it is the duty of the coach to understand the psyche of a 28-year-old and not the other way round. It doesn't work the other way. Not in cricket at least."

Meanwhile, speaking of his chances of giving it a shot at the role of the bowling coach of India, Nehra said, 'No such plans as of now.' "Yes, I will do a bit of coaching and commentary but if you talking about Indian team, no such thoughts till 2019 World Cup. After that, let's see what happens."

Nehra has featured in 163 international matches across three formats in 20 years.

Many remember Nehra for his explosive spell of 6/23 against England in Durban. How does Nehra see it

"Sports is nothing but moments. People remember that night. I would like them to remember me as an honest trier. Ek aisa shaqs jisne seekh ke khela nahin par khelke ke seekha (a person, who didn't learn and play but played and learnt)," he replied.

"It's been a great journey. May be one regret. If I could change anything in these 20 years, that afternoon in Johannesburg during the 2003 World Cup final. But nothing else as it's all about destiny," signed off Nehra.

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