Former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has opined that absence of Ishant Sharma during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be a loss for Team India. The senior pacer will miss the four-match Test series Down Under due to the injury he had sustained in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ishant Sharma was instrumental when India won the historic Test series in Australia two seasons ago. The pace star along with his bowling partners Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami helped India pick 20 wickets in all the four Tests as the visitors won the series 2-1. It was India’s first-ever Test series on the Australian soil.
India’s pace trio had picked up an impressive 48 wickets in the series with Bumrah taking 21 of them while Shami and Ishant Sharma accounting for 16 and 11 wickets respectively. And as India gear up to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Sanjay Manjrekar has opined that missing the lanky pacer will be a blow for Virat Kohli & Co.
“India will miss Ishant Sharma very very badly because he was the third support bowler,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on Sony Sports network while recalling the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“He ensured that the pressure wasn’t off. In many ways Mohammed Shami and Bumrah are your seam bowlers and you needed somebody to just keep that line outside the off-stump, be economical keep the pressure on,” he added.
Ishant Sharma’s rise:
Sanjay Manjrekar further spoke on how Ishant Sharma has ‘found his wrist’ in the last few years. He stated that it was something the lanky fast bowler struggled to do in the initial part of his career. Manjrekar even drew a parallel between Ishant Sharma finding the proper wrist position to Steve Smith and Hardik Pandya finding their hands and the right bat respectively in the recent past.
“We had Hardik Pandya in the ODI or the T20 series, he found the right bat. We had Steve Smith saying that he found his hands in the ODI series. About three-four years back Ishant Sharma found his wrists and since then his life has changed,” said the former cricketer.
“He has continued to bowl relentlessly outside off-stump but something is happening now after the ball pitches and that has got him to bowl a lot fuller. We have seen five-wickets hauls as well and not just economy from Ishant Sharma,” he added.
Ishant Sharma has indeed performed really well in the last few years. The senior pacer has scalped 297 wickets at an average of 33.39 in 97 Tests so far. Since 2017, he has picked up 85 wickets in 24 Test matches at an excellent average of 22.20.