Former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra is known for his jokes. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, who have played with him, have always said one thing about Nehra that he never gives in to pressure. Always laughing and joking. Perhaps that is why many franchises including Royal Challengers Bangalore did not make him the head coach of their team. New franchise Gujarat Titans reposed faith in Nehra and appointed him as the head coach despite Gary Kirsten joining the team.
A few days back it was reported in the media that Nehra had put a condition for joining any team after being dropped by RCB. He also wanted to join any team as the head coach. He was appointed bowling coach by RCB in 2018. He also stayed with the team in 2019. Nehra had said about RCB – the team is more dependent on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Changing the whole team every time will not help. There were reports of estrangement between Nehra and RCB management. No one believed it.
Ashish Nehra was heavily criticized after the IPL auction. It was said that due to lack of experience, he could not make a great team. He included many such players in the team who have also been dropped from their national team. There were some young people whom few people knew. It was also said that on the basis of four-five players, how Gujarat’s team will be able to perform better in the IPL.
Ashish Nehra ignored these questions. He united the players and gave such a mantra that the team became the champion. The team of Gujarat won the tournament not because of any single player, but with the contribution of all the players. Captain Hardik Pandya also said after becoming the champion that the team has made it clear that teamwork can win any tournament.
Ashish used to roam around the dugout continuously during the matches of Gujarat. He was never seen screaming or getting angry. He used to roam around and drink coconut water and give advice to the players. Nehra himself said in an interview, “I do not know how to operate a smartphone or laptop. I work with basic phone. I have bought a smartphone on the request of my wife, which I use only for running WhatsApp.” Nehra was never seen operating a laptop in the dugout. He always had paper and pen in his hand.
First Indian coach to win IPL
Ashish Nehra created history by winning the trophy with Gujarat. Since 2008, Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Titans have become champions in IPL. This is the first time that an Indian coach has won this title. Four times New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming, three times Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and twice Australia’s Trevor Bayliss have won the tournament. Now Nehra has also joined this list. Tom Moody, Ricky Ponting, John Wright, Darren Lehmann and Shane Warne became champions once each as coach.