Former India left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra has commented on teammate Laxmipathy Balaji. He claimed that Laxmipathy Balaji was so talked about way too much during India’s tour to Pakistan. He said that Balaji might have been even more popular than great Imran Khan back then.
Balaji was India’s leading fast bowlers on the tour. He has the ability to swing the ball away from the batsman which made him dangerous. His uninhibited batting made Balaji to the crowd in a way hardly seen before.
Speaking on a cricket show, Ashish Nehra said, “Those six weeks he was hitting sixes left right and center there was no doubt about it. Virender Sehwag triple hundred, Rahul Dravid double hundred, Irfan Pathan performance, all that is there but to me off the field, Pakistan, the nation as a whole and Laxmipathy Balaji in the dressing room.”
“In the dressing room, Irfan can give you more stories, the only thing I remember is Laxmipathy Balaji on that particular tour. Maybe that time he was more popular than Imran Khan,” he added
Balaji had a successful outing against Australia taking 13 wickets from 10 matches after a poor debut against West Indies. However, Balaji escalated to an unprecedented level of adulation in his next series against Pakistan. He took six wickets in 5 ODI’s before claiming a then-career best of 4/63. He achieved this feat during the third Test at Rawalpindi. Balaji’s spell helped India win the series 2-1.
Speaking with the Tamil Nadu Premier League, Balaji spoke about how it took him some time to comprehend the situation. He said, “To be honest, I was embarrassed because I was the most famous player on that tour. There were so many big names. They looked after me like elder brothers. They were always there for me, and that tour helped me to get recognition.”