Out-of-favour with the national selectors, Ashish Nehra produced a sensational spell of pace bowling for Chennai Super Kings, albeit in a Champions League Twenty20 losing cause against Kolkata Knight Riders, and then hit out at critics for always highlighting his injuries.
Nehra, now 35, had made his international debut in 1999 amid promises of a long and successful career. However, frequent injuries and dip in form did not allow him to play more than 120 ODIs and 17 Test matches.
On Wednesday, during the CLT20 opener, Nehra revived memories of his destructive spell against England in the 2003 World Cup, taking 4 for 21 in his four overs against IPL champions KKR. Nehra got the ball to talk on a hard Hyderabad surface and his speed left the Kolkata batsmen baffled.
Realistically, Nehra's chance of an Indian comeback looks remote, no matter how well he does in the CLT20. At 35, he can only hope to impress with his old wicket-taking skills and look back with regret at an injury-prone career.
"I have had a history with injuries throughout my career and I am not denying that. But in India, once you get a reputation for something, it is hard to get out of it. Last season I played all the domestic matches and was very much fit throughout," Nehra told CLT20.com.
"Unfortunately, I got a side strain during the IPL and everyone went overboard about my fitness again. I do get injured like many other players do. But my injuries are always highlighted. I cannot do anything about it except working hard and fighting back."
But Nehra is not willing to give up. He wants to look at his age as just a mere number and is more than keen to fight his way back into the Indian team through sheer dint of performances.
"I just try and give it my all. I have good physios and doctors around me to help me out and I put my best into it as well. I don't care what people say about me.
"I love playing this game and irrespective of my age, I want to continue playing cricket - for India, for CSK and for Delhi. And I will continue to work hard for that," Nehra told CLT20.com.
How Nehra's wickets help him in the longer run remains to be seen. Several players in the past have used the IPL and CLT20 to regain national spots. But a fast bowler in his mid-30s may not exactly excite the selectors, irrespective of what he does with four-over spells against quality batsmen.