Former India batsman, VVS Laxman reveals that he was impressed by Ishant Sharma’s will to bowl long spells when he first met the pacer. Laxman lavishes praises on the hard work the Ishant has done since making his debut in 2007 to pick 300 Test match wickets.
On Monday, in Chennai, against England with the wicket of Dan Lawrence, Ishant became the 6th Indian bowler and only the third Indian pacer – after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan – to bag 300 Test wickets.
The lanky seamer has had a career marred with injuries, however, illustrious with some scintillating spells over the years as he reached this feat in his 98th Test. It is often talked about how captains, in domestic cricket and for the national team, have a liking for Ishant because of his endurance to bowl longer spells.
“When I was tweeting about his 300th wicket, I remembered the debut Test match of Ishant in 2007 against Bangladesh. A tall, lanky fast-bowler. We all knew he had the talent to do well for India. But the amount of hard work he exhibited throughout his career.
There was Zaheer and other talented fast bowlers like RP Singh, Sreesanth, or Irfan Pathan, but here was one fast bowler who was ready and prepared to bowl 20 overs every day not every innings but every day. There’s a reason why he has had this longevity,” VVS Laxman told Star Sports.
VVS Laxman explains Jason Gillespie’s role in the revival of Ishant’s career
VVS Laxman observed that Ishant has a better wrist position and is bowling more fuller lengths than he used to prior to the time spend with former Australia pacer, Jason Gillespie. After remaining unsold in the IPL auction, Ishant went to England to play county cricket for Sussex in 2018 where he was coached by Gillespie.
VVS Laxman reckons the senior India pacer returned a much better and improved bowler from his stint in the county. And rightly so; since the start of 2018, he has picked 74 wickets in 19 Tests at an average of 19.39; compared to the average of 36.55 in his previous 79 Tests.
“What changed since 2018, is his wrist position. He is a very hard-working bowler, always looking to improve. He went to Sussex, worked with Jason Gillespie, played in the country championship, and was working on his seam position. And this is what he got right. Since then, he is pitching the ball up and he is ending up getting more wickets,” Laxman added.