Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who bowled a magnificent spell and got figures of 5/51 to turn the game substantially around India's favour, has said that leading up to this game and the series in England, he "got tired of the tag" of being a defensive bowler and wanted to prove a point.
Ishant, who has played over 80 Test matches for India with not a lot of wickets, has often come across as a controller of run scoring and a workhorse around whom others in the bowling line up can attack. In doing so, Ishant has been labeled as a defensive option rather than a wicket-taking one. Well, after Edgbaston he would've definitely made a few people change their opinion about him for sure.
At the end of play on Day 2, Ishant talked about his bowling and the overall game situation and said, “Actually, I got tired of the tag. I am bowling well but my wicket column has always not been very good. It feels very good because I put in a lot of work. Playing for your country and taking five wickets, that too in the second innings, feels nice,”
Ishant recently played county cricket for Sussex and he feels, it has made a telling difference to his game. He said, “Playing County made a huge difference. In a way, I was disappointed (not playing IPL 2018), but it was good for me. I played for Sussex and bowled with the Dukes ball. One good thing was although I only played four matches, there were overs behind me, I bowled around 150-200 overs (he bowled 114.3 overs in the first-class games). I played one-dayers also, so the experience was really good.”
“From the beginning, the plan was for me to bowl to left-handers. The plan was to bowl from over the stumps, but if the ball started to swing, I would immediately switch to around the stumps.”, Ishant gave an insight about bowling here, and further said, “Here the wicket doesn’t help much and when the sun comes out, there is no problem for batsmen. But when there is cloud cover, it is a big problem as the ball starts swinging. The seam stays hard for the first 40 overs, and the fewer wickets you lose in that phase, the better.”
He is also quite optimistic about India's chances of chasing down the required 84 more runs on Day 4 and winning the game. He said, “Losing five wickets does not mean much. You saw how we got their batsmen out quickly, but one partnership does happen. So, this small chase can happen quite easily.”
“Virat paced his innings. He adapted by first working hard to get to 50 but when he made the last fifty runs, he made them in a free-flowing way. The partnerships he had with the lower order were very important. For us, DK (Dinesh Karthik) also has a positive intent. Virat made 150 in the first innings and DK got out, but he still has a positive intent.”
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)