Ishant Sharma, the senior Indian fast bowler, has grappled with recurring injuries in the past 12-15 months. With skipper Virat Kohli set to miss the last three Tests of the much-awaited four-match series against Australia, the onus will be on Indian fast bowlers to lead the way for the visitors.
And, the presence of Ishant Sharma is very crucial to India’s cause as the veteran fast bowler not only brings loads of experience to the table, he is also at the peak of his powers in the past 3 years. Ishant Sharma, who missed the Indian Premier League due to injury, is sweating out overtime under the guidance of India U-19 coach Pravin Mhambrey at the Rahul Dravid-led National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
As NCA head, Dravid has informed the board that Ishant is working with Mhambrey to be fit in time for the Test matches. Ishant will definitely have a big role to play and his presence will not just give India another strike bowler, but also his experience will bring a lot to the table in Kohli’s absence,” the source said.
Ishant’s last stint with NCA did not go as per plan, something Rahul Dravid will hope isn’t the case this time around. It all happened last winter when Ishant Sharma suffered a Grade 3 tear on his right ankle while playing for Delhi in a Ranji Trophy encounter.
It was believed that Ishant would be out of the New Zealand tour as he was prescribed for rest for six weeks by the medical team at the National Cricket Academy. Ishant, however, passed the fitness test and took part in the first Test in New Zealand where he claimed a five-wicket haul. But the injury resurfaced after the first Test post which Ishant had to return back to India.
With Rahul Dravid keeping an eye on development, one would hope and believe that the fiasco doesn’t get repeated this time around as India needs its senior fast bowler to take part in the entire Test series.
The four-match series will kickstart with the Pink ball Test in Adelaide on December 17, followed by the Boxing Day [December 26-30] and New Year Test [January 07-11] in Melbourne and Sydney respectively, before the action finally culminates with the 4th and final Test at the Gabba in Brisbane, starting January 15.