Indian captain Virat Kohli has lauded veteran pacer Ishant Sharma for prioritizing Test cricket as the latter gets ready to play his 100th Test during the day-night fixture against England at Motera Stadium from February 24.
Ishant Sharma will become only the second Indian seamer after the legendary Kapil Dev and the first Indian since off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to play as many as 100 Test matches for the country.
Heaping high praise on his long-time teammate, Virat Kohli said that he is chuffed to bits for Ishant and he is hopeful that the veteran pacer plays for many more years.
“It’s rare to see a pacer have such longevity these days. Ishant could’ve easily prioritized white-ball cricket but full credit to him that he didn’t. I’m so happy that he is playing his 100th Test and hope he plays for India for many more years,” Virat Kohli said in his press conference on Tuesday.
I had to kick him to give him the news’- Virat Kohli recounts the instance when Ishant Sharma earned his maiden call-up to the Indian team
From being teammates at Delhi in their formative years to representing India in all forms of the game, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma have come a long way.
On the eve of Ishant’s 300th Test, the Indian skipper became nostalgic and went down memory lane to recount the instance when he had to literally kick a sleeping Ishant Sharma to apprise him that the fast bowler has earned a call-up to the national team.
“Ishant started playing state cricket with me. When he got selected for India, he was sleeping & I had to kick him to give him the news. That’s how far we go. We have great trust between us. I’ve been very happy to see him enjoy his bowling over the years,” Kohli added.
Ishant Sharma made his Team India debut against Bangladesh way back in 2007 but it was really his spell to Ricky Ponting at Perth that saw him shot to the limelight. Sharma endured plenty of hardships during the first half of his career as he flattered to deceive more often than not.
But the veteran pacer never got bogged down and kept on working hard and the improvement in every phase of his career testifies that to the hilt. Sharma has been at the height of his powers since January 2018 and he will be looking to have yet another memorable outing in what is a historic Test match for him.