Pune: It’s been barely six months after India pacer Ashish Nehra called time on his illustrious career. Now, in his second innings, he has already been behind the microphone and now will be seen in the dugout of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a bowling mentor in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season starting April 7.
The 38-year-old southpaw, who was in the city for an event, spoke about his new role and the upcoming season for the Kohli-led side, who had a season to forget last time out.
“I’m quite excited that it’s my first season with RCB and it’s a different role. It’s not the role I’ve been playing for last 10 years, it’s a new beginning for me,” said Nehra.
“Hopefully it will be a good start because the kind of team I am going to, and how big a franchise they are. They have reached final thrice but could not clear the final hurdle, so hoping for a good season.,” he said.
Nehra joins a few other illustrious names of the game, who are part of the coaching staff of Bangalore with Daniel Vettori as the head coach and Gary Kirsten batting coach.
“At this level, I will not use a word ‘coaching’. It’s more of a man-management considering the fast bowling unit we have. I see coaching from the player’s point of view as I was playing till recently. I don’t want to, and neither I can change their game, but I can help them change their mindset,” he added.
RCB has traditionally boasted a strong batting line-up with the likes of Kohli, AB de Villiers in their ranks, but bowling has been their Achilles heel. But this time it looks like they have addressed the issue as they have assembled a formidable bowling unit.
“We have many youngsters with the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Chaudhary,” he said.
“Then we have Chris Woakes, Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav; these guys are playing cricket for their country. We then have (Yuzvendra) Chahal and Washington Sundar, both of them are currently playing for India,” he added.
Fondly known as ‘Nehraji’, he knows that it is a completely different ball game from the other side and one of the unsung heroes of Indian cricket is ready for the new challenge.