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Cannot compare current Indian team to the Australian team of the 2000s: Ashish Nehra

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In a live conversation with Indian commentator Aakash Chopra on his show ‘Aakashvaani’, Indian left arm seamer Ashish Nehra feels that Virat Kohli still requires some development as captain, terming his role as captain a ‘work in progress’.

The 41 year old with 157 wickets in his 120 One Day Internationals said, “Virat Kohli as a player needs no recognition as his career graph tells the entire story. Kohli as a player has done amazingly well, in captaincy I still feel he is a work in progress. I can say he is a little bit impulsive captain.”

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Nehra, the bowler with the best figures by an Indian in World Cup Cricket, with 6/23 against in England in 2003, also feels that the current Indian team does not match the standards of Australia in their prime, which was from the middle of the decade of 1990 to late 2000s which lies in contrast to what current Indian coach Ravi Shastri has felt and said in the recent past. Nehra said, “This Indian team is far from the Australia team. You are talking about an Australian team which won 3 consecutive World Cups, reached the final in 1996, won 18-19 Test matches in home and away conditions. It’s not like this Indian team can not reach there but I believe the core group is very important. A person gets confused after watching many dishes on the table and so it’s important to have fewer but better dishes.”

Nehra also talked about how the talent of swashbuckling Indian wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been misused. He feels that Pant, who was initially slated to replace MS Dhoni in limited overs Cricket, needs to be backed a lot more by the BCCI.
He said, “There are a lot of talented players but they should be backed for a longer duration. Today also when we talk about the number 5 and 6 slots in Indian ODI side, then we are not sure about it. KL Rahul is playing on the 5th position and Pant, the person you were preparing to succeed M.S. Dhoni, is serving water.”
“I know he has missed his chances and there is no doubt about it but then you have kept him in the team because you saw the potential in him at 22-23 years,” Nehra added.