The IPL auction day came as a big surprise for Ishant Sharma, who is the most experienced bowler in the country, barring Ashish Nehra who only plays the shortest format of the game now. Ishant has been plying his trade in the T20 league since its inception and came in the tournament as a youngster in its inaugural edition.
It was through this league that Ishant was able to get a place in the Champions Trophy 2013 squad but in 2017 auction, he was no longer needed by any franchise.
A disappointed Ishant had already started to think of signing a contract an English county. In fact, the English counties had already kick-started the process to offer Ishant a contract,
“Mentally, I wasn’t in a holiday phase, I had already started training, preparing myself for the County. I hadn’t signed a contract, but I got a few offers,” Ishant told Cricbuzz on Tuesday (April 4).
“Obviously as a cricketer, if you don’t get picked in IPL, you want to go somewhere. It is time for me to play. It doesn’t matter where I’m playing. I just want to play. That’s it,” Ishant added.
He was all set to sign the best offer but a call from his former Delhi and India teammate Virender Sehwag changed his life when he was offered a contract to join Kings XI Punjab camp as a replacement for injured Murali Vijay. Ishant accepted the offer and Kings XI Punjab added one more pacer to their already heavy pace attack.
“My experience makes me stand out. After all the years that I have played international cricket, I can bring my experience to the dressing room and share it with the youngsters. It is all about the experience of playing in different situations, and how to face it, how to bowl in different situations,” Ishant highlighted.
One of the reasons for franchise signing Ishant could be the lack of real pace in the team. Varun Aaron has known to be an injury, prone player. Mohit’s and Sandeep Sharma’s pace has dipped down in past few years, whereas franchises pace attack can’t fully rely upon Anureet Singh and newbie T Natarajan.
So, it seems to be a wise decision if thinking through this point of view but at the same time is a surprising one keeping mind the player Ishant has replaced.
Ishant will soon be joining the Kings XI Punjab camp before their first encounter of the tournament against Rising Pune Supergiant on April 8.