Former India pacer Venkatesh Parsad wants the most experienced speedster Ishant Sharma to spearhead the Indian pace attack in next month’s tough tour of South Africa.
As per Parsad, the lanky fast bowler despite playing nearly 80 Test matches is yet to realise his true potential. Having made his Test debut in 2007, Ishant has taken 226 wickets at an average of 36.55 in 79 Tests.
"Ishant has been around for more than a decade. It is high time that he leads the attack. I don't know what the issue is. He has got the pace, the height, the aggression but he has not realised his potential. He should be playing the role that Srinath (Javagal) played when he was around, or Zaheer Khan or Kapil Dev when they played," Prasad was quoted by TOI as saying.
In the recent times, there has been a healthy competition among the Indian bowlers as the team boast the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya in the pace attack besides having the services of ace spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
On being asked about the Indian pacers picked for the all-important South Africa tour, Prasad said: "They all are different to each other. With more and more cricket being played and more rolling, the pitches in South Africa are not what they were 10-15 years ago.”
"However, the extra bounce would surely suit the faster bowlers but it remains to be seen how the Indian pacers adapt to the conditions after doing well at home," he added.
Talking about Bumrah’s maiden call-up in Tests after doing reasonably well in the limited-overs format, Prasad said: "He has done well and that is why he has been picked. Let him get the opportunity then we will see how he fares. The requirements of bowling in Tests are different to the needs of the shorter formats."
India will face South Africa in three-match Test series from January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town. Following the Test series, Virat Kohli’s troops are slated to play 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is against the Proteas.
India Test Squad for South Africa Tour:
Virat Kohli(c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah
Jan 05 - Jan 09, 1st Test – Newlands, Cape Town
Jan 13 - Jan 17, 2nd Test – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Jan 24 - Jan 28, 3rd Test – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 01, 1st ODI – Kingsmead, Durban
Feb 04, 2nd ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 07, 3rd ODI – Newlands, Cape Town
Feb 10, 4th ODI – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 13, 5th ODI – St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Feb 16, 6th ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 18, 1st T20I – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 21, 2nd T20I – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 24, 3rd T20I – Newlands, Cape Town