They have been out of favour for quite some time as far as selection in the national team is concerned and Harbhajan Singh’s reason is entirely different from Ashish Nehra’s.
While 31-year-old Harbhajan has better chances of making a comeback to the national squad in near future,time is certainly running out for soon-to-be 33 Nehra as both were seen slogging it out for their respective states during the North Zone leg match of Vijay Hazare trophy.
Neither of the two players set the stage on fire nor did they perform badly. While Harbhajan had figures of 10-0-38-0 to show for his efforts,Nehra bowled in two spells with figures reading 8-0-37-1.
But if one analyses their bowling,Nehra did make more impact for Delhi than Harbhajan did for Punjab although he was their best bowler.
Harbhajan,a veteran of 98 Tests and 229 ODIs was seen trying to restrict the opposition from scoring rather than trying to buy wickets.
Call it the T20 effect,rarely did he try to flight the ball during his first spell of seven overs that cost 22 runs.His main aim seemed to not let Delhi batsmen like Mithun Manhas,Punit Bisht or Rajat Bhatia give him the charge.
“I felt he did bowl a little flat but again we were not able to hit him and had to score off other bowlers,” Bisht,who scored 73,said after the match.
Nehra,on the other hand,bowled at a brisk pace and Punjab batsmen really found it difficult to hit him during the Powerplay. He beat the bat a couple of times,bowled well disguised bouncers and one such short ball hurried on to Mandeep Singh who lobbed a simple catch to short cover.
Even when he came for his second spell,he worked up a lively pace and showed a lot of control.
His new-ball partner Parvinder Awana who has been Delhi’s highest wicket-taker said,”Ashish bhai’s presence always helps. There are times when he creates a lot of pressure at one end and my job becomes easier. He would stand at mid-on or mid-off when I am bowling and constantly encourage me and help me plot a batsman’s dismissal.”