Cricket is a great leveller and Ishant Sharma’s career is one of the best examples of it. In the summer of 2013, Ishant became the toast of the nation after delivering a match-turning over in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. India had gone on to beat England to win the trophy. A few months later, Ishant was at the receiving end. He ended up bowling an over that more or less derailed his ODI career and left him depressed.
In a recent interview, Ishant revealed that the 48th over he bowled to Australia’s James Faulkner in an ODI in Mohali (in October 2013) turned out to be a career-defining moment for him. In it, he gave away 30 runs, which led to India’s narrow loss. Australia, before that over, had needed 44 off 18 balls.
“I have always been hard on myself; I am not someone who just pushes things under the carpet. I lost a game for India. I didn’t cry for just one day… I cried for 15 days at least,” Ishant Sharma told Indian Express.
He went on to reveal that his wife (then, girlfriend), Pratima and friend Rajiv Mahajan helped him move on from the depression caused by that Faulkner over.
“There was a time when I used to keep bowling normally. Like for left-handers I used to keep bowling over-the-stumps, but now I have started changing. Now I train at nets to bowl round the stumps to a leftie. Or say, for a right-hander all I used to bowl was the ball that came in. Now I have tried to develop the straight ball,” he said.
Well, the last few years have really seen a different side of Sharma who was struggling to get going after showing a lot of promise during the tour of Australia in 2008. In his last four Test series, he’s averaged under 25 and picked up 41 wickets. He recently played an important role in India’s historic Test series win in Australia earlier this month.