Ishant Sharma’s coach Shravan Kumar puts the blame on Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli and team director Ravi Shastri for creating too much aggressive atmosphere which led to his one-match suspension.
Ishant Sharma played a vital role in India’s historic series win in Sri Lankan soil by claiming 8 wickets in the third Test match and ended up taking 133 wickets in the whole series. However, in the process Ishant Sharma crossed the line and gave an ugly send off to the Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga.
Later in another incident Ishant Sharma involved in a verbal fight along with Dhammika Prasad and Dinesh Chandimal which created a stir. The ugly incident resulted in one match suspension for Ishant Sharma and also for Dinesh Chandimal for having a deliberate physical contact. Both Dhammika Prasad and Lahiru Thirimanne was given 50% fine of their match fees.
Although, the Indian skipper said that Sri Lankan players sledge made Ishant angry and fired him up, Ishant Sharma’s coach said that it was deliberate from team director and the skipper for allowing Ishant to cross the line.
“Ishant crossed the limit this time. Sledging is a part of the game, but by making gestures he invited more trouble from the match referee. I think he got carried away with the dressing room atmosphere, especially when you have a captain and Team Director who talk so much about aggression,” Kumar told mid-day from New Delhi.
“I will definitely ask him to control his aggression. By now, he must have realised that he is the one who suffered in this incident. The team management hasn’t come forward to request the match referee to remove his ban. Ishant needs to be counseled and learn the art of sledging, which is a very subtle act,” said the coach.
The Sri Lanka tour was a landmark series for Sharma, who became only the 11th bowler in history to claim 200 Test wickets before turning 27. Ishant trapped SL skipper Angelo Mathews, whose century threatened to take the game away in the second innings. Ishant trapped Mathews leg before to claim his 200th wicket. “He was determined to complete 200 Test wickets on this tour. I am glad he achieved it,” said Kumar.
The coach said shortening the run-up helped him perform better. “International cricketers prefer spending more time in the gym, but Ishant hit the ground daily, bowling for almost two to three hours in the nets. He worked on his fitness and rhythm. He also shortened his run-up which helped him do well. The best thing was he bowled consistently well in the three Tests,” signed off Kumar.