New Delhi: Ashish Nehra bid adieu to his cricket career on Wednesday, as he played his last international match, which India won comprehensively against New Zealand. The veteran went wicketless as he ended with figures of 0-29 in 4 overs, but was granted a fitting farewell as he was carried by his team-mates at the end of the match.
While the match was done and dusted before the 20th over, the left-arm speedster was still handed the ball by skipper Virat Kohli during the final over. But speaking to former India cricketer and anchor Sanjay Manjrekar after the match, the 39-year-old revealed why he bowled the final over.
"I must be one bowler who bowled the most number of last overs for India, but it was different sort of pressure and today was much more comfortable. Virat was on my case for the last 2-3 overs and I said I will bowl the last over," Nehra explained.
Nehra collected 157 ODI wickets plus 44 Test and 34 T20 scalps during his 18-year career, since making his Test debut in 1999 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
The lanky pacer was a part of the Indian squad that won the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The Delhi native was also a vital part of India's 2003 World Cup campaign in South Africa, where the team ended up as runners-up to Australia.
At the peak of his powers, Nehra was often called upon to bowl the final over in a tense encounter. He is best remembered however for his career-best ODI figures of 6-23 against England at Durban during the 2003 tournament.