Ishant Sharma, the spearhead of the Indian fast bowling unit in the longest format of the game, is eyeing a recall to the ODI set-up, four years after having played his last game for the national team.
Ishant, who made his 50-over debut way back in 2007, has never been able to cement a regular spot in the white-ball set-up, which also explains why he has not played a single World Cup despite being around in international cricket for 13 years.
The tall lanky fast bowler has thus far played 80 ODIs for the Men in Blue, in which he has claimed 115 wickets at an average of 30.98. Ishant, who was a part of the Champions Trophy-winning team in 2013, has now expressed his desire of being part of a World Cup-winning team.
“Obviously, I would love to play in a World Cup. Actually, I want to be part of a World Cup-winning team, as it will be a different feeling altogether. We are playing the World Test Championship, which is equivalent to a World Cup in Test cricket, but you realise that not a lot of people follow it, while an ODI World Cup is widely followed,” Ishant Sharma was quoted as saying on ESPNcricinfo.
‘MS Dhoni always supported me’- Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma had a sensational start to his Test career in 2007-08 when he troubled Ricky Ponting and other Australian batsmen with his raw pace and aggression. His spell against Ponting in the Perth Test parachuted him to the peak of stardom but the Delhi bowler was not able to live up to his potential in the first 6-7 years of his career.
But since 2017, Ishant has been a different beast. The right-hander, after a successful county stint with Jason Gillespie, has scripted a renaissance of sorts and he is now nearing the rare milestone of becoming only the second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to play 100 Test matches [he has thus far played 97] and third after Dev and Zaheer to breach the 300-wicket mark .
But for Ishant, strike rates and averages have never bothered as long as his communication with the captain is on point. Ishant went on to heap high praise on his former captain MS Dhoni for the manner in which he persisted with him despite a middling record after 50-60 Tests.
”MS Dhoni (the captain when Sharma’s numbers were middling) always backed me. Even after my first 50-60 Tests, he never said we’ll look for someone to replace you. To tell you the truth, even after playing 97 Tests, I still don’t understand things like average and strike rate! I’ve never bothered about these things,” Ishant Sharma added.