After retiring from all forms of cricket, former India pacer Ashish Nehra has gone on to develop his reputation as a no-nonsense commentator and cricket pundit who minced no words. Among the fans and experts, Nehra has made a name for himself by expressing his strong opinion about the game and players. In his latest interaction with former India opener, Aakash Chopra on his show ‘Aakash Vani’ – Nehra disagreed with India captain Virat Kohli’s remark that ODIs hold little relevance this year. Also Read - Virat Kohli Best Batsman In World: Tim Paine
Kohli, after India’s 0-3 whitewash at the hands of New Zealand, asserted that this format held very little relevance as compared to Tests and T20Is. “…as I said one-day cricket in this calendar year is not as relevant like T20Is and Tests,” Kohli had said. Also Read - Virat Kohli's Old Slam Book From School Days Goes Viral | SEE PIC
The veteran India pacer Nehra though feels that it wasn’t right on Kohli’s part to say this after he had lost a series. “If you win and tell this it’s a different thing. It’s wrong to say that the year is for T20s and so we don’t care about 50-over matches…if it doesn’t matter then why did you even come to play. Are you trying to tell that the Indian team didn’t try to win those ODI matches against New Zealand? I don’t agree with Virat Kohli’s statement,” Nehra said during his chat with Chopra. Also Read - Fans Blast Australia Skipper Tim Paine For India ‘Sideshow’ Comments
India had won the T20I series but went on to lose both the ODIs and Test matches in New Zealand earlier this year. Nehra also talked about Kohli’s captaincy and said that it is still a work in progress. “Virat Kohli as a player needs no recognition as his career graph tells the entire story. Kohli as a player has done amazingly well, in captaincy I still feel he is a work in progress. I can say he is a little bit impulsive captain,” he added.
The 41-year-old also feels Kohli’s Indian team still has a long way to go before it is spoken of in the same breath as Australia of 2000s. The ‘mighty’ Australians won three World Cups in a row – 1999, 2003, 2007.
“This Indian team has to still cover a lot of distance in order to match up with that Australia team (led by Steve Waugh and then Ricky Ponting),” he said.
“You are talking about an Australian team which won three consecutive World Cups and before that reached the final in 1996, won 18-19 Test matches in home and away conditions,” Nehra added.
He also did not appreciate the fact that every now and then team combination is being tinkered with.
“It’s not like this Indian team can not reach there but I believe the core group is very important. A person gets confused after watching many dishes on the table and so it’s important to have fewer but better dishes,” Nehra made his displeasure clear.