India captain Virat Kohli lauded pacer Ishant Sharma’s career as he is set to play his 100th Test match. He also praised him to put his white-ball career on the back-burner but instead chose to prolong his Test career and excel with the red-ball.
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma will become the second Indian pacer to play 100 Test matches after the great Kapil Dev who played 131 Tests from 1978-1994. The lanky pacer from Delhi had recently picked his 300th Test wicket in the ongoing four-match Test series against England.
Ishant Sharma is coming off an injury layoff which led him to miss the historic Test series win in Australia. He had picked up the injury during the IPL 2020, where he played only one match for the Delhi Capitals (DC). However, he returned back to the team in the first two Test matches in Chennai against England.
When Ishant Sharma Got Selected For India, He Was Fast Asleep And I Had To Kick Him To Give Him The Good News: Virat Kohli
While lauding Ishant Sharma for his performances in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, India captain Virat Kohli shared a unique anecdote about his Delhi teammate.
“I have known Ishant for many years now. He started playing state cricket with me. From his first season onwards, we’ve been roommates for many years in state cricket and Ranji Trophy cricket. When he got selected for India, he was fast asleep in the afternoon and I had to kick him off the bed to say that you have been selected and he wouldn’t believe me. So, that’s how far we go back.
And I couldn’t be happier for him, to play in 100 Test matches as a fast bowler is no mean feat. And especially playing in our conditions where things can get so difficult. But he persevered. He kept working hard,” said Kohli.
It’s A Great Achievement In Modern-Day Cricket For Ishant Sharma To Play 100 Tests: Virat Kohli
Kohli was all praises for the leader of the Indian pace attack, saying that it is a major achievement for Ishant to play 100 Tests, and had special praise reserved for putting his red-ball career, while he could have prioritized white-ball cricket to prolong his career.
“It’s a great achievement in modern-day cricket. To maintain your body and play 100 Tests, it’s rare to see a pacer have such longevity these days. He could have easily prioritized white-ball cricket but full credit to him that he didn’t,” Kohli said.
“A lot of people even lose their motivation. He has the skills, if he wanted he could have improved his four-over, 10 over cricket and played in the IPL regularly, or presented himself in T20 and ODIs. But he gave his full commitment to Test cricket,” he added.
Ishant last played in an ODI in 2016 and a T20 International match in 2013.