New Delhi: Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag has insisted that he was not surprised by pacer Ashish Nehra’s inclusion in India’s T20 squad to face Australia in the coming weekend.
The left-arm pacer was on Sunday named in India’s 15-man squad which is set to face Steve Smith’s Australia in a three-match T20 series, with the first T20 at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi on Saturday.
"I was not at all surprised with Nehra's selection in the T20I team against Australia. I am very happy that he is a part of the team and I want him to play more matches in future," Sehwag said to India TV.
The 38-year-old Delhi batsman also mentioned that the reason behind Nehra’s success is because of his result in the ‘Yo-Yo’ test.
"The secret behind Nehra's fitness is when (he) is not playing international cricket, he spends almost eight hours in the gym (two sessions of four hours each). And if today he is a part of the T20 team, it is because he has passed the 'yo-yo' test. He scored almost 17-18 in the yo-yo test, touching Virat Kohli's score," the right-handed batsman mentioned.
He further mentioned about the paceman’s fitness. "Nehra is a fast bowler and never faces any issues while running. So, he doesn't endure much problems in clearing the 'yo-yo' test. Nehra likes to stay fit and spend time in the gym.
"It is not that he is doing it forcefully. He likes to run, swim and I think he would have easily covered the distance of 20 meters in the yo-yo test. He has also an advantage of his height. He is over six-feet tall and has a long stride," he added.
When asked about Nehra representing the Virat Kohli-led India in the next ICC World T20 in 2020, the former Kings XI Punjab batsman said that age should not be a criteria.
"I don't think age should be the criteria to play in the world cup. If Nehra is fit, picking up wickets and giving away less runs, then why not? Sanath Jayasuriya played till 42, Sachin Tendulkar played till the age of 40 then why not Ashish Nehra?", he questioned.
He stressed more on the importance of the Yo-Yo test for Team India’s players. "We have seen in reports that many players, including Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, have not cleared the yo-yo test. And probably this is the reason why they are not part of the team.
I think Yuvraj and Raina should focus on clearing the yo-yo test because if they pass the test, they will be a part of the team," he stated.
"Fitness is the mantra for every cricketer. If you remain fit, you will be a hit. I don't think there's any unfit player in the current Indian team,” Sehwag concluded....