Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Delhi Skipper, Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma leads Delhi in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy: Photo Credit: Web.

Out of favour Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma bowled with venom and employed the short ball tactics to perfection during the Ranji Trophy clash for Delhi against Railways and the wicket of Avinash Yadav for 14 was just a testimony to what he had bowled earlier on. It was heartening to see the lanky fast bowler aim at the batsman’s rib cage before rattling him with a barrage of short pitch stuff.

Sadly enough his short ball strategy has brought about his downfall in international cricket. He has lacked the penetration of being an international bowler, and quality batsmen have cashed in on the opportunities provided by Ishant. Especially in white ball cricket, Ishant’s short ball tactics have backfired which have forced him to initiate Plan B even before working out on his preferred strategy. The fast bowler has been out of the limited overs team for the last 21 months, but that doesn’t seem to bother him a single bit as he wants to focus on the job at hand.

Ishant Sharma during 2013 Champions Trophy

“Right now I’m not thinking about an ODI or T20I comeback, in any case, that is not in my control. I’m bowling well and want my team to win matches,” said Ishant was quoted as saying by Wah cricket following Delhi’s impressive 105 runs victory against Railways.

He has been a reliable Test bowler and bagged 4 and three wickets each in both the innings on a pitch which barely had enough for the fast bowlers.

“The aim is to always keep improving as a fast bowler. I don’t want to think too far ahead, cause that can put you under unnecessary pressure, push you into a negative mindset… It’s important to enjoy what you are doing,” said Ishant.

The lanky speedster has been a permanent member of the Test squad, but that hasn’t been the case when it comes to limited overs cricket. He last played for the national team in Blues last year in Australia when he bagged 9 wickets from 4 outings. Incidentally, Ishant’s last ODI for India was also the debut match for the new pace sensation Jasprit Bumrah but Ishant refused to accept that his ODI axing has a lot do with the emergence of some new stars.

Ishant feels backing the players would pay the rich dividends. Photo Credit: PTI.

“The current Indian fast bowling lot is very talented. It’s great to play with such youngsters and I want them to continue giving their best for the country.”

The speedster added that leading Delhi in the Ranji Trophy has brought a new dimension to his career.

“It’s a new thing for me to lead a quality side like Delhi… Every player in this team is very talented; I’m thoroughly enjoying leading the young boys,” added Ishant.

The speedster heaped praises on Nitish Rana and Anuj Rawat who has been valuable performers for Delhi. He also touted them to represent India in the near future.

“I think we have quite a few players like Nitish and Anuj who have the ability to represent India in future. They just have to keep evolving with every game,” Ishant signed off.

Ishant Sharma has been out of the limited overs team for the last 21 months.

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