Delhi wary of Nehra's fitness

Khurram Habib

New Delhi, Nov. 23 -- Delhi have had to fret over Ashish Nehra's unpredictable fitness yet again. The former India speedster, who was named for Delhi's Ranji Trophy Group B match against Tamil Nadu starting on Saturday despite walking out of the previous game after bowling just six overs, may not eventually play this game.

Left-arm paceman, Pradeep Sangwan, has been drafted in as a replacement on the eve of the match. Chief coach Vijay Dahiya says that Nehra is 90% fit.

In the previous match against Baroda, Nehra pulled out just one hour into the match, letting the other seamers carry the burden on a lifeless track.

Surprisingly, chairman of selectors Chetan Chauhan had just a week back told HT that Nehra's fitness issue would be discussed after the match against Baroda and action will be taken.

Despite this, he was included for this match. His inclusion for this match had raised eyebrows and the latest fitness concern reflects poorly on the selection panel.

It seems Delhi are desperate for Nehra, the lone international bowler in the line-up. However, after a match-winning spell last season he has struggled with form and fitness. Both Delhi and Tamil Nadu are on eight points but Delhi are ahead because of better net run rate.

Delhi had set aside two pitches for this match and they have picked the quicker of the two tracks, hoping to exploit chinks in Tamil Nadu's batting line-up with movement.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.