Cricketers have tried sledging to divert their opponents, going face to face to test their nerves, but senior India fast bowler Ishant Sharma took a different route to divert Australia batsman Steve Smith during the Bengaluru Test in 2017. Ishant Sharm was at his comical best in the second of four-match Test series and his behaviour against Steve Smith left even the India captain Virat Kohli in splits.
India had lost the four-Test opener in Pune by a massive 333 runs after media and fans alike touted the home side to clean sweep the series. Steve Smith is a master of Test cricket and had started his innings cautiously when Ishant Sharma decided to his patience when his quirky actions, which was never seen before on the field by him.
Ishant Sharma: I was trying to upset Steve Smith
Ishant Sharma, who picked up a wicket in each innings, said he was trying to upset the prolific Australia batsman. Smith usually likes to keep his eyes on the ball and concentrates while batting. Ishant Sharma wanted to make him comfortable, without using the ball, and came up with the gesture.
“I was just trying to upset him and was thinking how to do it, I was just trying to get him out of the comfort zone, I was just trying to make him uncomfortable. It was a close game, people tend to do things after getting swayed by emotions, you do anything to upset the batsmen, whatever I could do to upset him, I did that, Smith upsets the bowlers a lot, we know if we dismissed him, then we could go on win the match,” Ishant Sharma said on the new series ‘Open Nets with Mayank’ on Bcci.tv.
After the drubbing in the series opener, India came back strongly to clinch the Test series 2-1.