Virat Kohli with Ashish Nehra © Getty Images
Virat Kohli with Ashish Nehra © Getty Images

Ashish Nehra announced his retirement, making the first T20I of the three-match series between India and New Zealand his last international assignment. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar questioned Nehra’s presence in the playing XI for the tie, which is scheduled on November at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, Nehra’s home ground.

“Ashish Nehra announcing his retirement also makes a bit of an issue, for with him not being selected for the first two games, how are the selectors going to pick him in the playing XI in the first T20 match of the new series against New Zealand?” questioned Gavaskar.

His query is justified if either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Jasprit Bumrah is injured, or the track is seamer-friendly, so India can play three pacers.

Nehra was benched for the T20I against Australia, given Bhuvi and Bumrah have been in outstanding form. In addition, the wicket-taking duo of wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal caught the Australians in a maze. The team management had no option but to keep Nehra out of the playing XI.

“Selections are not done on emotion but simply on merit. Nehra deserved to play against the Aussies but wasn’t picked and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah can’t be dropped, so how will Nehra be given the farewell he deserves? That will be interesting to see,” added Gavaskar.