Former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra has become a cricket commentator and pundit since hanging up his boots and has developed a reputation for calling a spade a spade. During a conversation with former India batsman Akash Chopra on the latter’s show Aakash Vani, Nehra said that he did not agree with Virat Kohli’s comment that ODIs don’t matter this year. Kohli, after India’s 0-3 whitewash at the hands of New Zealand, had said that the focus was not on 50-over cricket this year. “…as I said one-day cricket in this calendar year is not as relevant like T20Is and Tests,” Kohli had said.
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 Aakash Chopra.
India had won the T20I series but went on to lose both the ODIs and Test matches in New Zealand earlier this year. It came as a huge setback for this team, which is considered by many as one of the strongest ever Indian sides, because of its strength in the bowling department.
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 said.
Nehra also said that the current Indian team is nowhere close to the all conquering Australian side of the first decade of the 2000s.
“This Indian team is far from the Australia team. You are talking about an Australian team which won 3 consecutive World Cups, reached the final in 1996, won 18-19 Test matches in home and away conditions. 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,” he said.