Nehra too is not worried by competition

Published: Thursday, June 10, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore :Speedster Ashish Nehra on Thursday said he is not worried by competition for medium pacers' slots in Indian team, following the emergence of L Balaji and Irfan Pathan, but admitted that remaining injury-free is his prime concern.

"It's good for me and the team," Nehra said in Bangalore when asked about the seemingly intense competition for the slots. "If one gets injured, you have a good back-up. It (competition) is not worrying for me because whenever I am fit, I have always played...it's not like that I am fit and I am not playing."

On whether he would have to work that much harder to get into the squad because of the competition, Nehra said he used to work hard and in international cricket one always have to work hard irrespective of whether there is competition or not.

"It's good for Indian cricket. Balaji and Irfan did well in the last two series. Good for all of us and Indian cricket."

Asked if he is happy with his career so far, he said: "It's not only me. If you ask Sachin Tendulkar, he won't be happy with his career. He wants to score more and more runs. I am happy that I played for India, specifically in the last 3-4 years. But I would have been happier if I am injury-free...that's the main worry for me...it's not the performance that worried me always."

Nehra, who is in Bangalore attending the fitness camp for fast bowlers, said it is common for fast bowlers in any country to get injured. "It (injury) happens to me more frequently," he lamented.

"Injury happens to any fast bowler...it's not in my hands. My job is to work hard and that's what I am doing."

He said in his career he wasn't injured "that much" and had just one surgery. "I would have been more happy if I am fitter." Nehra said he is working on his lower body under the guidance of physical trainer Gregory Allen King.

Nehra said the fast bowlers would have a tough task in the coming series against Australia and South Africa at home.

"It would be difficult for any fast bowler on Indian wickets. We will try our best."

The seamer said Yoga is good for fast bowlers but added that they used to have Yoga sessions only during camps in Bangalore. "If it's available for all of us throughout the year, it's good for us."

Asked if he would be looking to improve his bowling speed, Nehra said: "I think, I have enough of speed. Better for me if I concentrate on my line and length."

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