South African paceman Dale Steyn revealed on Wednesday (5 September) that he “has been a big fan of Indian pace superhead Ishant Sharma” for a very long time.
Steyn further went on to reveal that he loved the way Ishant has been able to bowl despite the non-assisting tracks in India, managing to keep his focus and fitness in place.
He told bcci.tv, “I have been a big fan of Ishant (Sharma) for a very long time. Played with him at the Sunrisers, saw what he was capable of doing back then. I always felt that he was very unlucky because India played at one point they played a lot of Test matches at home in a row and those wickets are not assisting towards fast bowlers.”
The Protean bowler further said of Ishant, “As a fast bowler, you are kind of in and out of the side, and your team is regularly relying on spinners. And yet he has maintained focus and fitness to be able to come on a tour like this, when the fast bowlers are really needed, and stood up. I am very happy that he has achieved the things he has done and played County as well to prepare him for this summer.”
Meanwhile, Steyn also impressed with the 24-year-old Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah, lauded his quirky action and raw pace with incredible skill and his control over the ball.
Dale signed off by saying, “Some of the Indian quicks coming through are Bumrah - you speak to any international batter and he'll tell you he's difficult to face. Strange action runs in and generates a lot of pace. And he's got incredible skill - we saw him get Keaton Jennings dismissal (in the fourth Test), couple of balls away and without playing a shot, one that nipped back in. He's young and he's got the skill, and he's got pace. What more can you ask for.”
Noteworthy, Ishant is currently playing in the Test series in England, where he is leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets in four games for India, while Bumrah managed to get 11 wickets in just two Tests with one Test still to go in the series which will be played on 7 September at The Oval.