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Anand Subramaniam in Bengaluru 24 May 2014 - 10:17pm IST

Nehra happy to be back after injury layoff

CSK pacer hopes to put up more valuable performances in the games to come

It had been over a month since Ashish Nehra held the ball in his hand in this year’s IPL. The last time he played for his new franchise – Chennai Super Kings – was in Abu Dhabi, against Kings XI Punjab. Since then, Nehra has been going through rehabilitation to recover from a muscle tear that he sustained during one of his practice sessions.

But on Saturday night, it did not look like Nehra was coming back after an injury layoff. In his four overs, he picked up three wickets, which helped Chennai Super Kings restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to 154. Thanks to the bowling effort, CSK registered a convincing eight-wicket victory to carry the winning momentum into the Playoffs. For Nehra, it was all about putting up a good show after being out of action for more than a month, and the three wickets he picked were like a cherry on the cake for the left-arm pacer.

In this post-match chat with IPLT20.com, Nehra speaks about his comeback and talks about how he hopes to put up more meaningful performances for his franchise in the games to come. 

Excerpts from his interview:

Would you say it was satisfying to be amongst the wickets after your injury?


After the first game, I had a side strain and unfortunately I tore my abdomen muscle during one of the practice sessions. To be honest with you, I have only started bowling recently. I was not even bowling to the batsmen in the nets; I was only bowling to a single wicket during my bowling drills. If you keep all such things in mind and then look at my performance, I would say that it was a good show.

How tough is it to be out of action and then perform when asked to bowl against a strong batting line-up like RCB?

It is tough to bowl in the first few overs and at the death in T20s, especially in Bangalore where you have players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. We all know that the wicket in Bangalore is a high-scoring one, and it was important to get wickets at regular intervals. When I was bowling up front, my whole motive was to take a wicket or two with the new ball so that the likes of Virat, AB and Yuvraj could face the new ball as much as possible. We thought this would also help the other bowlers to pick wickets with the new ball. It was all about applying yourself on the given day and it was quite nice to be among the wickets after a long injury layoff.

How did you plan to bowl to the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh?

I haven’t been watching too many games since I was busy with my rehab. But I would like to say that our performance analyst Lakshmi Narayanan helped me a lot with regards to planning to different batsmen in the RCB line-up. We worked out our plans for AB de Villiers and the rest of the batsmen, and it feels nice when the plan works.

Three wickets in your four overs; would you say it was a satisfying performance?

I would not say that I am completely satisfied with my performance. This is just the beginning and there are bigger games to follow and we need to focus on those. I would only be happy if the team can play well in the semi-final and the final, and I put up some notable performances in those games.

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