India’s Test bowling spearhead Ishant Sharma made his ODI debut in 2007, which was two months after his first Test appearance. In a conversation with Mayank Agarwal, he recalled his maiden 50-over appearance for India 13 years ago. The current quarantine period has forced cricketers to stay indoors as otherwise, they would be on the field in action.
The Delhi pacer went on to reveal when nervousness got to him as Rahul Dravid asked him why he wasn’t practising. He made his debut in Belfast against South Africa alongside pace bowlers RP Singh and Zaheer Khan. Ishant Sharma wasn’t picked for the ODI series in Ireland but only for the Test series in England. He also recalled because of the severity of the cold in Ireland, a tally of seven cricketers caught an illness, including MS Dhoni, RP Singh, and Dinesh Karthik.
“It was so cold there. I was selected for the England Test series and not the ODI series in Ireland. I was chilling at home and then I got a call that you have that come to play ODIs in Ireland. I tell you my friend that it was so cold there, it was like ice for us. So many people including MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa and RP Singh fell ill due to the change of weather conditions. At least, 7 people fell ill.”
“Rahul Dravid asked me that how will I play the match tomorrow”: Ishant Sharma
The strong indication by Rahul Dravid that Ishant would play the upcoming match left him surprised. When asked by Dravid the reason, he was reported to be shell-shocked and explained to him that his suitcases hadn’t reached him. He borrowed Zaheer Khan’s shoes to play his first ODI.
To his dismay, the Delhi pacer went wicketless, having conceded 38 runs. Recalling the practice session, the 31-year old had his luggage missing due to which he wasn’t about to practice. Ishant Sharma’s last of 80 ODIs came against Australia in January 2016 with India opting him only for Tests. In 97 Tests so far, he has picked up 297 scalps.
“I was waiting for my luggage and I called my manager. The manager said the luggage will come directly in your room, I was like ‘woahh! we have this facility also, this is nice, in Ranji matches we carry it ourselves’. I was standing and then Rahul Dravid asked Ishant why are you not bowling,” Ishant said as quoted by India Today.
I nervously said him that I was waiting for my shoes and that shocked him. I explained him that I kept my luggage in the flight but hadn’t reached me. Rahul Dravid asked me that how will I play the match tomorrow. I was shocked again. I borrowed shoes from Zaheer Khan and played my first ODI match,” Ishant added.