Bengaluru, November 1: Ashish Nehra will always have that big, frustrating 'what if' tag around him. What if the injuries did not ravage his career? What if Nehra had managed his fragile as a flower pot body?
What if this and What if that?
But Nehra is not the only bowler who struggled against an injury prone body and got their careers nipped untimely.
Let's look at some of them.
Ian Bishop (West Indies)
He was, perhaps, last of the big, bad West Indian fast bowler to have terrorised batsmen around. He crossed 50 wickets in just 11 Tests. But he ended up with 161 sticks from 43 Tests, succumbing to stress fracture and walking into sunset at 31. In between, he reminded us about his awesome abilities with a 6/87 against India at Bridgetown or with a 6/40 at Perth. In the end, just sad footnotes.
Shane Bond (New Zealand)
When he retired at the age 34, all Bond played were 18 Tests (87 wickets) and 82 ODIs (147 wickets). His average stood at a tremendous 22.09 in Tests and 20.88 in ODIs. Bond always produced his best against Australia averaging an extraordinary 15.79 against the rivals across the Tasman sea. He could clock 150 kmph often with a clean action but his spine, knees and feet did not bear the burden and he broke down. But Bond never sacrificed his pace for longevity.
Shaun Tait (Australia)
161.1 kmph. It was the ball the Aussie produced to become the second fastest bowler in 2010 against England. But we saw the raw pace of Tait only for three Tests and 35 ODIs (62 wickets at 23.5 overs). In the limited time, Tait also was a part of Australia's World Cup winning squad in 2007. He quit Tests and ODIs at the age of 28 after shoulder, knee, elbow and back injuries ravaged him to play occasional T20Is. He still moves around in Essex.
Simon Jones (England)
Jones had pace, swing and accuracy. But what he did not have was fortune. In 2003, he twisted his ankle and jacknifed in the air at Brisbane while fielding - a freak accident - and never really recovered. In 2005, though he played a significant part in England's Ashes regaining campaign along with Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison. Jones picked up 18 wickets but in all he could play only 18 Tests for 59 wickets. In fact, an injury forced him to sit out of the series-deciding fifth Test - a symbol of his struggles.
Bruce Reid (Australia)
The 6'8 Western Australian left-arm pacer was Australia's big hope in the post Lillee-Thomson era. But he retired at age of 29 after his frail frame could not stand the rigorous of fast bowling that gave him multiple injuries. His high point came when he captured 27 wickets from first four Tests at 16 in the 1990-91 Ashes against England. However, he could play only 27 Tests for 113 wickets and 61 ODIs for 63 wickets.