The upcoming third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad will be a historic occasion for the 32-year-old Ishant as he will become only the second Indian pacer to play 100 Test matches for the country.
Having made his debut as an 18-year-old against Bangladesh in the summer of 2007, Ishant Sharma has had a roller-coaster ride in Test match cricket.
Ishant made heads turn with his spell for the ages against Ricky Ponting during the 2008 Perth Test but barring that, the first five years of his career were pretty underwhelming.
In his first 53 Tests between 2007-13, Ishant managed just 149 wickets at an average of 38.81. Sharma was ridiculed, trolled and every written off as the ‘worst player to play 50 Test matches.
However, the fast bowler didn’t bog down to the pressure and through persistent hard work proceeded to shut down his trolls with remarkable improvement in his numbers.
Sharma has been at the peak of his powers ever since he worked on his wrist position alongside Jason Gillespie in County cricket during the summer of 2017.
Since the start of 2018, Ishant has claimed 76 wickets in 20 Tests at an average of 19.34. He claimed his 300th Test wicket during the first Test in Chennai and now that he is on the cusp of becoming the second Indian pacer to play 100 Tests, Vijay Dahiya has reckoned that the Delhi cricketer will be the last pacer from the country to play 100 Tests.
“I think I will say this with certainty, Ishant will be the last Indian fast bowler to play 100 Test matches. I don’t see anyone playing 100 Tests. With majority of the fast bowlers preserving themselves for IPL and white ball games, it will be increasingly difficult to play 100 Tests for India,” Vijay Dahiya told PTI.
Dahiya also heaped high praise on Ishant Sharma’s ability to bowl according to the team’s plan and his incredible fitness which allows him to bowl long spell even at the age of 32.
“MS used him as a defensive bowler who would hold one end up. Ishant was his man to do the job. You know why he has lasted this long: because it’s very important to know what your leader wants and deliver accordingly,” Dahiya said.
“He wasn’t the wicket-taking bowler but kudos to him, he did the job of bowling 20 plus overs a day with elan, which primarily the spinners do in Tests,” he added.