Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma will be leading his home team Delhi, in the Ranji Trophy season for the first time, as he believes the strength lies in its core line-up which has knitted a team together since past many years.
“Now is the time to take responsibility. The first target is to reach the knock-out stage,” Ishant told reporters prior their match, as his comments were published by PTI.
Ahead of the Ranji leg, the 29-year-old lanky pacer Ishant, who is raring to go revealed he would like to enjoy the coaching stint while representing the country’s capital Delhi, in the first-class competition – to further make most out of his appearances in the domestic fold.
“It is a great responsibility. I would be responsible for the fielding changes and batting order,” Ishant maintained.
It’s pertinent to point out that at least three players have been with the side and the experience would boost the morale of the team while going into the prestigious tournament.
“They have been around for three-four years now and they have the experience,” Ishant added.
According to the newly-appointed skipper, Ishant reiterated Vice-captain Milind Kumar followed by the 24-year-old batsman Unmukt Chand and Manan Sharma had formed the core, particularly in the batting line-up.
“I believe, we will get good batting wickets and the batsmen need to apply themselves,” Ishant asserted.
After 2007-08 season Delhi has struggled to perform and has not won the premium domestic competition thereon, as Ishant is positive the side would come good in the three-month-long competition while reiterating the pitch won’t come into play.
“If someone is a good cricketer, the pitch doesn’t matter. Both teams play on the same wicket,” Ishant remarked.
The first day of the tournament will witness twelve matches, as Delhi will host Assam at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
Ishant is banking on his senior campaigners while adding the players are supposed to shoulder the responsibility, in a bid to play a respective part in four-day fixtures.
“Success and failure are part and parcel of the game. They [players] have my support. I am confident they would do well,” Ishant expressed.
The promising prospect Ishant, who has quality international experience on his back, is hopeful of players would rise to the occasion, as Delhi is placed in the Group A of the table alongside Railways, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh.
“The dressing room atmosphere is good. We have had good preparation. This is a good team with a lot of young players,” Ishant concluded.
The 25-team tournament will kick off on October 06 and will run through January 02, 2018.
Ishant has played 110 first-class games in which he bagged 338 wickets at an average of 31.86. He has 11 five-wicket haul, and 16 four-wicket hauls under his belt.