Former India cricketers Ashish Nehra and Aakash Chopra go back a long way. Much before they played for India, the duo represented Delhi in domestic cricket and even before that they were both budding youngsters with the Sonnet Cricket club.
Both of them got together recently for a candid chat on Chopra’s show Aakashvani and reminisced about the old days they had spent together.
Aakash started by asking Ashish Nehra about a brand of shoes that he used to have in those days, when buying good sports shoes were a luxury for young cricketers.
“I wore them for the first time in Ranji Trophy and had only one pair which I took them with me to play in my first Test match in 1999. I still remember I used to get the shoe stitched after each innings and that is how it survived the entire Test,” Nehra said.
Aakash then asked him about practicing bowling action at the Delhi Cantonment Railway station with the club’s bowling coach.
“I wasn’t alone. There used to be a bunch of us who would go to drop sir at the railway station. He would ask us to show him different bowling actions. I remember we would pick up the stones at teh station and bowl with them,” Nehra recalled the good old times.
The duo also discussed a match they had played at the racecourse ground in Delhi for their club team. Aakash, who was the captain of the side, was asked by the coach why he didn’t bowl Nehra from a particular end. “You remember we had to bowl into the wind and against the wind? The coach asked me why I didn’t bowl you from that end. I told him that you wanted to bowl from the other end. And sir went and gave you a slap,” said Aakash while discussing a funny incident.
Ashish Nehra made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in the Asian Test Championship. He picked up a single wicket in the match, which ended in a dull draw with batsmen ruling the roost on a flat pitch.