Ishant Sharma, in a last couple of years, has emerged as one of the pillars of India’s pace attack in Tests. The 31-year-old fast bowler made his Test debut in 2007 under Rahul Dravid and since then has played under Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. India, who are traditionally famous for producing world-class spinners, now boast of a pace attack which is at par with the best in the world, if not the best. On asked what has led to this change, Ishant said earlier under MS Dhoni’s leadership the fast bowlers couldn’t deliver consistently as there was not “much experience” and they “would be rotated a lot” which did not help either.
“Look during Dhoni’s time, some of us didn’t have that much of experience. Also the fast bowlers would be rotated a lot, that’s also a reason that consistency as a group couldn’t be achieved,” Ishant told reporters after Delhi defeated Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy.
The veteran of 96 Test also claimed that earlier there was a lack of communication as the fast bowling pool comprised six-seven bowlers but now there is a fixed pool of “3-4 fast bowlers” and all of them have a better understanding among themselves.
“If you know that you are a pool of 3-4 fast bowlers (now with Jasprit Bumrah), that increases communication. Earlier, there would be 6 to 7 bowlers, communication wasn’t there,” Ishant added.
Ishant said by the time Virat Kohli took charge of the team, the fast bowlers had gained “fair amount of experience” and that has helped a lot.
“But when Virat took over, we have all by then gained fair amount of experience and that helped,” he added.
Ishant said that spending more time in the dressing than the family has also been a blessing in disguise as it has helped players get along together and enjoy each other’s company.
“Now when you play more, stay in that dressing room more, spend more time with team compared to family, discussions are free and frank. And then you start enjoying when you go out there in the middle. That’s a different feeling,” Ishant said.
India will next play a Test series against New Zealand away from home in February.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma utilised his time off the international duty playing for his Ranji Trophy side Delhi. Spearheading their bowling attack, Ishant took eight wickets in the match, four in each innings, and guided Delhi to a seven-wicket win over Hyderabad.
(With PTI inputs)