When Ishant Sharma trapped England’s Dan Lawrence leg before wicket during the fourth day of the opening Test at Chepauk, he became only the third Indian pacer to reach 300 wickets in the longest format.
Ishant joined Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, and Ravichandran Ashwin, in the elite 300+ wickets club of Indian bowlers.
It has taken 98 Tests and close to 14 years for Ishant to achieve this milestone and India off-spinner R Ashwin wishes to see the lanky fast bowler enter the 400-wicket club and set a benchmark for the emerging quicks of this country.
"Look, Ishant has been one of the most hard-working cricketers that I have seen in that Indian team dressing room," Ashwin said at the virtual press conference after stumps on Day 4.
"He has worked extremely hard, for more than just one reason, because being that tall (6 ft 4 inch) itself requires a lot of facets to be managed through a career which is spanned out through almost 14 years now."
Ishant needs only two more games to become only the second pace bowler from India to complete 100 Test appearances.
For Ashwin, that itself is a monumental achievement given the injuries a fast bowler usually deal with in his career.
"Ishant, who went to Australia and got Ricky Ponting out (in 2007-08), and then has gone through so many other tours, had his fair share of injuries. For a fast bowler to get close to 100 Tests in India is not a joke and it is fantastic, fantastic achievement," he said.
"I can keep going on and keep complimenting Ishant, but I really wish to see him get to 400 and probably 500 wickets, which should be sort of road map for a lot of Indian quicks going forward."
Ashwin also opened up on Ishant Sharma as a person.
"If I have to say something about Ishant, his biggest plus is the smile. He is ever smiling. Even if he is very tired, he is smiling," he said.
"Today, I jokingly told him that you won't get a bowl. He (Ishant) said that's ok because he was really tired. He is a man with a funny streak," he added.
(With PTI inputs)