After years of hardwork on the cricket field the long-legged medium-pacer from Delhi finally stood tall and feels proud about what he did for India at the Lord’s on Monday. The 25 year old made his record Test figure of 7 for 74 and lead India to their first win in 28 years at the Lords.
Now, having bowled with aggression and produced the finest performance by an Indian pacer in the fourth innings, Ishant will be praying the second half of his career will turn out to be a less bumpy ride than the first.
Ishant debuted in 2007 in Bangladesh and picked up 5 for 118 against Pakistan in his second Test a few months later. During the 2007-08 Australia tour, he made the legendary Ricky Ponting‘s life hell, giving indications of a great future. It looked like India had finally found the fast bowler they had long been looking for, but sadly Ishant faded, worse than the moon. He turned in a couple of memorable performances – Galle 2008 (3 for 20 in the second innings) and Kingston 2011 (10 for 108) – but there was nothing indelible about them.
Ishant Sharma, Man of the Match, credited MS Dhoni for the wickets picked. When asked about his short ball strategy he said, “In my first spell of five overs, the batsmen got beaten quite a few times and the ball moved as well. So I thought the ball would still be reversing, which didn’t happen. That’s when MS bhai told me that since the ball has become really soft, let’s try something new. He said lets open up the whole field and bowl only bouncers. This is the last over (before lunch) and you never know what could happen. The plan worked and we decided to continue with it after lunch,” he said. “I feel all the wickets I got today should go to MS bhai because he planned them and set the field for them,” he added.
This is India’s first victory since 2011 when they beat West Indies at Jamaica. This is Ishant Sharma’s best bowling figures in an innings (7/74). This is also the first instance when two Indian bowlers have taken a five-for at Lord’s.