India’s veteran pacer Ishant Sharma will be playing his 100th Test match when India faces England in the third Test of the ongoing Test series in Motera, Ahmedabad, which will be a day-night affair, starting 24th February 2021.
In the previous Test match in Chennai, Ishant had become only the third India pacer to take 300 wickets in Tests, after Zaheer Khan and Kapil Dev. On Wednesday, he will also become only the second fast bowler from India after Kapil to play 100 Tests.
"If your career is 14 years long and you are still playing, you cannot name just one highlight. It is difficult to pinpoint just one highlight, every sportsperson has the graph going up and down. I cannot say about that one thing that took my graph or brought it down.
Obviously, it feels great to be playing 100 Tests, I learn a lot from Zaheer Khan, I learnt from his work ethic. I have told everyone playing in the team that if you keep on working on your fitness, the rewards will come," said Ishant during a virtual press conference on Monday.
Ishant had made his Test debut in 2007 against Bangladesh but became a well-known entity after his amazing bowling spell to Ricky Ponting on the 2008 Test tour of Australia.
"When I went to Australia in 2007-08 in Australia, I was just a youngster and I was just focusing on bowling. I did not think much, as we bowl in domestic cricket, I just followed the same. Over the years, I learnt by being in different situations.
I have always had this motive in making the team win, till the day I play, I will play with the same motive. Personal milestones can be there, when you are about to leave your career you can see these milestones. But these are just numbers for me, I do not play for numbers, I just play to win," he added.
Talking about if not playing white-ball cricket for India since 2016 has helped him stay fit for 100 Test matches.
"I love to play white-ball cricket, sportsperson has their job to play, this is the least they can do. If I am not playing white-ball cricket, it should not affect my Test cricket. I should be grateful for how many matches I have played in Tests.
I think like this only. I do not think that if I played all three formats, I wouldn't have played 100 Tests. I would have achieved the feat a bit late, but I would have played 100 Tests,” he said.
"I think about one game at a time, I do not think about the future. I understand my body and what type of training I need to do. Right now, I have understood that as you grow older, you need to think about the recovery process as well. I am looking after myself, everything has paid off for me nicely.
It is tough to say which captain understood me the best. It is not about the captain understanding me but it is the other way around. It is important to know what the captain wants from me, when this communication is done, it makes things a lot easier," he added.
In 99 Tests thus far, Ishant has 302 wickets at an average of 32.22 with 11 five-wicket hauls and 1 ten-wicket haul.