As Ishant Sharma prepares for his 100th Test match, on Wednesday, in Ahmedabad against England, former India pacer, Ashish Nehra points out a few changes in Ishant’s bowling which have reinvigorated his career.
Ishant Sharma made his Test debut in 2007; 14 years down the road he will play in the centenary Test and the journey has been filled with ups and downs. For the moment, he is one of the best pacers going around in the world, both with the new and the old ball.
Ashish Nehra speaks about Ishant’s impeccable record in the past few years; the lanky pacer averages a brilliant 19.34 with the ball since the start of 2018- better than Pat Cummins, James Anderson, and Jasprit Bumrah, better than any pacer but Jason Holder.
Ashish Nehra Lauds Ishant Sharma
The 41-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator believes that Ishant has started to bowl a lot more from around the stumps now as the reason for his recent success. He also praises the 32-year-old’s ability to dismiss left-hander’s – average of 13.89 against lefties since 2018 – from around the wicket.
“Earlier, he used to bowl only over the stumps, but still the ball was not going away nicely against left-handers or you can say when right-handers are batting coming in nicely. From the last 18 to 24 months, even around the stumps, forget over the stumps, the ball is going away nicely to the left-handed batsmen. This shows that he is thinking about his game, looking to add new things, and the results have gone in his favor. It’s a great thing for India!” Nehra said.
For any fast bowler playing 100 Test matches is a big achievement: Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra, who played 17 Tests for India and had an injury-marred career, lavished rich compliments on Ishant Sharma, as he is set to become only the 11th pacer – 12th if you include Jaques Kallis – and only the second Indian after Kapil Dev to feature in 100 Tests. Nehra also observed that Ishant has altered his lengths – gone more fuller – and has reaped rewards from it.
“Not only any Indian fast bowler but any fast bowler playing 100 Test matches is a big achievement. When people talk about Ishant Sharma’s length, yes, he has altered his length, which is very important in Test cricket. Plus, he is the same old Ishant Sharma, the ball is coming into right-handers, which is really important for him, bowling around the stumps,” Nehra further added.