Former Indian speedster Ajit Agarkar has revealed that MS Dhoni had a major role to play in developing Ishant Sharma and making him the bowler he is today. India could badly miss Ishant Sharma in Australia in the forthcoming Test series, scheduled to start from Thursday. Ajit Agarkar conceded that MS Dhoni tirelessly persisted with Ishant before getting wickets, turning him into a better bowler.
Ishant Sharma, who debuted in 2007, was never a regular wicket-taker despite being a strike bowler until the last few years. The 31-year old fast bowler has improved his bowling performances drastically in a previous couple of years, accumulating 41 wickets in 11 matches at 21.42 in 2018 and 25 in six Tests at 15.56 last year. So far, India’s pace spearhead has 297 scalps in 97 Tests at 32.39 alongside 11 fifers.
Ajit Agarkar pointed out that when MS Dhoni served as the captain, used Ishant Sharma to bowl plenty of overs in the day before getting a few wickets. On the other hand, he kept all his main strike bowlers rotating.
“MS Dhoni, when he was captain, used him as that guy who just bowled a lot of overs in the day and then got a few wickets, and he had his main strike bowlers whom he kept rotating,” Agarkar said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
His bowling doesn’t fall as much when he’s tired: Ajit Agarkar
Ishant Sharma, who picked up an injury forcing him to miss the upcoming Test series in Australia, earned praises from Ajit Agarkar for maintaining an excellent fitness level and 97 Tests are a testament to the same. The 41-year old added that the fact that Ishant does not play white-ball cricket for India, has improved his bowling in Tests and remains fresh before any series.
“Fitness is one of the things that has kept him in good stead throughout his career. Anyone who’s played over 90 Tests has to have good fitness. And his bowling started to improve, started to impress… one of the reasons was because he doesn’t play white-ball cricket, he’s always a lot fresher once he comes into a Test series. His bowling doesn’t fall as much when he’s tired. That’s why his lengths are better,” he added.