ENG v IND 2018: WATCH – Upbeat Ishant Sharma keen to contribute in India's win

Ishant claimed six wickets in the Edgbaston Test, including a five-wicket haul in the second innings.

Ishant Sharma | Getty

India speedster Ishant Sharma has expressed his desire to script more and more victories for the country with his bowling performances.  

Ishant was one of the very few shining stars in India’s heart-breaking 31-run defeat in the first Test against England at Edgbaston. The lanky pacer claimed six wickets in the opening Test, including a five-wicket haul in the second innings.

In an exclusive interview with BCCI’s official website, Ishant said: "I have only one motive that I want to win matches for India with my performances. Which ever ground I play, my purpose is to win matches for the team with my performances. My motivation has completely shifted and now my focus on how I can help my team win with my performances."

"It has also helped me to bowl long spells. The only thing matters to me is that, I want to help my team win with my performances," he added.

Ishant dented the English middle order in the second innings of Edgbaston Test. He dismissed Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in quick succession to reduce the hosts to 87/7. England, however, got out of trouble courtesy a dazzling half-century (63 off 65 balls) from Sam Curran. Sharma removed Stuart Broad in the latter part of the innings to register his eighth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

On being asked about his preparation for the five-Test series, Ishant said: "The process always remains the same. You have to focus on where you have to bowl and how to execute your plans. At the end of the day, when it works out, then you feel satisfied and happy. It is important to take up responsibility when you are a senior bowler.”

"You have to be performance oriented. I have not done anything special. It's just the mindset, which is totally different for me. You start believing in yourself and you hit the right lengths. If you ball at a particular length consistently and play with batsmen patience, you will eventually get success," he explained.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who averages 26.63 in red-ball cricket on English soil, was left out from the 18-member squad for the first three Tests after he aggravated his back problem by playing in the third ODI at Leeds. Kumar’s injury came as a huge blow for India given that Jasprit Bumrah was yet to recover from his thumb injury. Although Bumrah was picked in the Test squad, he will only be considered for selection from the third Test onwards.

In the absence of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, the trio of Ishant, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami did a reasonably good job at Edgbaston and they will have to replicate the same in the upcoming matches as well.

"The current lot is a competitive fast bowling unit. We have a healthy competition amongst each other which is a good sign for the team. Everyone knows if they don't perform they can be out of the playing XI. Because of this players are always on their toes. Things are quite simple in this team, if you perform you will be in the team and if you don't you will sit out," Ishant Sharma concluded.

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By Salman Anjum - 09 Aug, 2018

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