February 1, 2017 was the last time veteran paceman Ashish Nehra played for India. It was against England in a Twenty20 International at Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
After eight months, the 38-year-old finds himself making another comeback to the side. This time, he has been picked for the three-match T20I home series against Australia starting Saturday (October 7).
The Delhi bowler's inclusion might have come as a big suprise to many. He has not played any competitive cricket since May when he featured in Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) colours at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017.
Also read: India-Australia series schedule
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee has sent out a clear message that age is not a factor in choosing players for national duty.
If a 38-year-old Nehra can make a comeback, then others too can return. This gives hope to Yuvraj Singh too.
Yuvraj is known to force his way back to the Indian team when being written off. Now too he has been sidelined for India duty since June this year.
But Nehra's inclusion in the Virat Kohli-led team, might me good news for the 35-year-old Yuvraj and his fans.
The star player from Punjab will still be dreaming of another World Cup appearance. The next 50-over World Cup is in England in 2019.
A Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) official justified Nehra's selection.
"Ashish Nehra played the last full T20 series against England earlier this year. He was in contention to play Champions Trophy but an injury during IPL put paid to his hopes. India's last two T20s were one off games against West Indies and Sri Lanka, so Ashish wasn't picked," a BCCI official told news agency "PTI".
"Ashish if fit was due for a comeback as and when there would have been a three match T20 series. There isn't anyone craftier than Ashish and when it comes to his selection, it's about fitness and not form. Check records, Ashish has never been dropped because of poor form," he added.
Here, the BCCI official has emphasises on fitness of a player. And Yuvraj can prove that as well as score big runs with Ranji Trophy starting this month.
With New Zealand and Sri Lanka set to arrive in India, there is plenty of hope for Yuvraj and others, who dream of comebacks.