Ishant Sharma had burst on the Test scene as the tormentor of Ricky Ponting during the 2008 Indian tour to Australia. The lanky tall fast bowler was the star for India in the Lord’s Test of 2014, where his 7/74 earned him a Man of the Match award and a win for India team.
Ishant said, “The weather is so nice, you can bowl long spells, the conditions are helpful. The ball is nice, the wicket is favourable. There’s a lot of difference between bowling in England and India. Spinners need to contain the runs, and fast bowlers are the ones who are going to take the wickets.”
“I’m not really the kind of guy who likes to give up on things, so I’m really hard on myself,” he says. “I’m the kind of a person, when the things are really tough I really want to take it on.” He is celebrating for bowling the “dirty overs”: those times when the ball has gone soft, the batsmen are set and the heat is unforgiving.
Ishant also gave his thought on becoming a fast bowler, in India, “Whatever I choose is my choice, so I can’t really blame anyone why I didn’t become a spinner and why I’m a fast bowler,” Sharma jokes. “Fast bowling – obviously it’s a difficult thing to do, a lot of toll on your body. But it’s a really enjoyable thing as well. It tests your character, tests your strength. It’s really good for me to be a fast bowler. Even in India I’m still happy.”
Ishant spoke about India producing fast bowlers and said, “Everybody used to say that India can’t produce a fast bowler, now we have probably eight to nine good fast bowlers anytime who can play Test cricket for India. We have a pretty good chance to win a series in England and Australia, because of the kind of attack we have.”
Ishant Sharma said that the Indian team has become more professional and fitter.
He said, “We have become so much fitter because there’s so much knowledge, and there’s so much contribution from everyone. You know, talking about how important your fitness is if you want to play a good amount of cricket for the country. So you need to work hard for that. You can’t just bowl or just bat. You need to go into the gym. You need to go running, you need to look after your recovery system, you need to look after your diet and everything. Everybody has become a professional now instead of just thinking ‘you just need to bowl’.”
Ishant credited new Captain Virat Kohli for the change in mindset and making the team fitter. “When you’re not playing then you have to go to the NCA and start training. Under Kohli, there has been a “totally different training scenario – following different kinds of diet and everything. I think it’s totally changed now,” Ishant said.
Sharma also said that he has become more experienced over the time and his better average speaks for itself. Sharma averaged 38.81 until 2014 but has since taken 89 wickets at 30.02 apiece.
Ishant signed off, “Earlier I was really raw. I didn’t know much about bowling – I would just bowl fast. Now I know like, what the batsman is doing, how’s the weather, how the wicket is going to behave, then after how many overs what you need to do and everything. You need to adapt, and bowl according to the situation.”
(With inputs of telegraph.co.uk)