Veteran India pacer Ashish Nehra is set to call time on his international career after the first T20I against New Zealand on November 1.
Nehra will make his final bow on his home ground at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi.
A senior source at the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed to the PTI (Press Trust of India) that the 38-year-old bowler has intimidated his decision to retire to team skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.
“Yes, Ashish has told both Ravi and Virat that he does not want to continue beyond November 1 when India plays New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Obviously, there is some element of surprise. One thought that he would like to continue till the home season against Sri Lanka. But he feels, it’s the right time to move on,” the senior official told PTI on Wednesday.
It is understood that Nehra’s retirement is from all forms of cricket and he will not take part in the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Delhi-born pacer made his debut for India in 1999 and has since gone on to play 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 T20Is for his country.
Overall, Nehra has 44 Test wickets, 157 ODI wickets and 34 scalps in T20Is. He is best remembered for his devastating spell of 6-23 against England in an ICC World Cup 2003 clash at Durban.
He was a member of the World Cup winning India side of 2011 where he put in a match winning performance against Pakistan in the semi-finals.
The lanky pacer had been named in India’s squad for the three match T20I series against Australia but so far has not featured in the first two games.
Captain Virat Kohli has called on his players to be “ruthless” after the crushing one-day series win over Australia took India top of the world one-day rankings to add to their number one Test status.
A five-wicket win in the third game of the five-match series on Sunday gave India an unassailable 3-0 lead over Steve Smith’s Australia.
It also stretched India’s winning streak to a record 12 matches across all formats.
Kohli’s side have been on a roll for the past year since regaining the number one Test spot with a 3-0 home whitewash of New Zealand.
The in-form captain has led from the front with 1,137 runs in 21 50-over matches this year, ahead South Africa’s Faf du Plessis as the highest one-day scorer in 2017.
Kohli praised his team after the latest win against the once mighty Australians, who have been outplayed in India. Smith’s team also lost a Test series 2-1 in India this year.
“Credit to the whole squad for the series win, but the journey stops only after the final game,” said Kohli, the top ODI and T20 batsman in the International cricket Council (ICC) ratings.
“We may give opportunities for people from now, but all 15 guys know that we got to be ruthless once we step onto the field,” Kohli added.
The series has seen new Indian stars emerge, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav making an instant impact.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 24, 2017
While Pandya’s crucial 78 led the team’s run chase in Indore, Yadav impressed with his maiden hat-trick in the second international.
However legendary spinner Bishan Singh Bedi believes India have not been tested by opposition teams, barring the Champions Trophy final in June against Pakistan which they lost by 180 runs.
India won 10 of their 13 Tests on home soil in the 2016-17 season and then went on to rout hosts Sri Lanka over nine games in all three formats.
“Realistically speaking Indians are not even fielding their best XI and beating the opposition hands down, whether it is Sri Lanka or Australia,” Bedi said.
“We are loving the ratings, but if we are a little more pragmatic then you will realise that the Indian team in the last year or so haven’t been stretched by the opposition.
“Just that one game in the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, other than that we have not seen them in a tight situation.
“We will get to know the character of the team when they come out of a tight situation,” Bedi added.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel returns to the Indian squad in place of Ravindra Jadeja for the final two ODIs that will be played in Bangalore and Nagpur on Thursday and Sunday.
Patel, who sprained his ankle at the start of the series, will join Chahal and Yadav as the third spinner in the 15-man squad.
The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has nominated MS Dhoni for the third highest civilian honour – the Padma Bhushan – for his contribution to the game.
“Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been nominated by the BCCI for the Padma Bhushan award. It was a unanimous decision by the members. He has been one of the greatest names in contemporary cricket and the most appropriate choice of the Indian cricket board,” BCCI acting president CK Khanna told PTI on Wednesday.
The nomination of Dhoni was the only name sent by the Board and if the nomination if accepted, the wicketkeeper-batsman will become only the 11th cricketer from the country to receive the civilian honour.
“He is one of our greatest cricketers. Not many players have played 90 Test matches. There is no one better than him, who could have been nominated,” Khanna added.
Some of the other notable names who have been conferred with the prestigious honour are Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar.
— Doordarshan National (@DDNational) September 20, 2017
Dhoni has already been bestowed with the Arjuna award, the Padma Shri and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award so far in his illustrious career.
The Ranchi maverick had just recently become the first man to complete a century of ODI stumpings in the 5-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka.
One of the most successful captains the India has seen, Dhoni has led the side to two World titles – the 2007 ICC World T20 and the 2015 ICC World Cup.
The 36-year-old is closing in on the 10,000 ODI runs mark with 9,737 runs to his name in 302 games for India currently.
Dhoni is currently with the Indian team as they continue their battle with the visiting Australians in the limited-overs format.
He had scored a valuable 79-run knock in India’s win in the first ODI at Chennai after a top-order collapse had left the hosts looking vulnerable.
The two sides will lock horns in the second game of the five-match series at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.