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Aakash Chopra revealed how his former Indian team-mate, as well as good friend Ashish Nehra, had bowled with an injury to bamboozle England during a 2003 World Cup group match against England in Durban. Nehra overcame all odds as he finished with figures of 6/23. At the same time, he remains the only Indian bowler to take a six-wicket haul in World Cup history.
While interacting on a video that was uploaded on Facebook, Chopra recalled that the epic encounter between India-England and went on to say that it was a close contest as England were 52/2 during their run chase of 251 when Ashish Nehra was introduced into the attack. The former Delhi Test opener then recollected the left-arm seamer's run-up where he succeeded in inducing a leading edge off the then English skipper Nasser Hussain's bat as he took a long walk back to the pavilion to put his side in a spot of bother. The stylish cricket pundit also talked about how the speedster had run through the middle-order in no time as Hussain & Co. fell down like a pack of cards.
“But wait, you know this story, already right? Let me take you to the flashback, behind the scenes. This heavily swollen leg kept inside a bucket of ice. Who is it? This is the same Ashish Nehra who, the very next day, stepped out on the field to rattle England batting unit with a swollen leg. As we say, there is nothing greater than a person’s will. Not even injuries. If Nehra Ji has decided that he will play against England, then no one can stop him,” the cricketer-turned-commentator/analyst added.
Nehra's figures of 6/23 are also the best figures of his ODI career. He achieved this feat at Kingsmead, Durban of February 26, 2003. The Delhi pacer applied brakes on England's run chase by picking up the wickets of Michael Vaughan, skipper Nasser Hussain, wicket-keeper batsman Alec Stewart, Paul Collingwood, Craig White, and Ronnie Irani as India went on to win the contest by 82 runs.
Earlier, Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly had won the toss and elected to bat first. India were off to a good start as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag added 60 runs for the opening wicket. Sachin scored yet another half-century before he was dismissed by Andrew Flintoff. The then vice-captain Rahul Dravid (62) and Yuvraj Singh (42) added 62 runs for the fifth wicket stand which helped India get to a competitive total of 250/9 in their 50 overs.
In reply, England were bundled out for 168 in 45.3 overs.
(Image Courtesy: Twitter)
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