Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 1st day January 24, 2012

Ishant, unlucky or incomplete?

It is argued that it is too simplistic to label Ishant Sharma an unlucky bowler who will get the proverbial rub of the green one day, but it might be too simplistic a view
148

One of these days Ishant Sharma is going to bowl worse than he is doing, and walk away with a five-for. That's what his team-mates, and more importantly his opponents think. One of these days.

Today wasn't one of those days. Easily the best bowler on show today, Ishant produced three edges on a flat track, came close to getting leg-before calls, went past the bat on an almost equal number of occasions, got the ball to seam, bowled the odd cutter with a roll of the fingers, and went for just 52 in 20 overs on a day that India conceded 335 runs for just three wickets. But he still doesn't have a wicket to show for it.

It has been observed, not without merit, that perhaps he is not that unlucky after all. That - likable as he might be with his spirit in the nets, in the field, with the ball, and with the bat - there is a difference between studying hard and scoring marks in the exam. That he bowls just the good balls, not the wicket-taking balls, which would be a length slightly fuller - by about a foot - than he usually bowls. That his game has not evolved from the last time he first impressed, on the tour to Australia four years ago.

Or, a little more uncharitably, that, as Shane Warne once observed of Monty Panesar, he has played not 45 Tests but the same Test 45 times. "Unlucky Ishant" has become almost a mock among the fans. Sometimes, though, what those who have been in the contests say matters more. This might be one of those cases.

This is what Michael Hussey had to say of him before the start of this Test: "If anything, I think he has picked up a bit of pace from some of the spells that I've faced in the past. Particularly in Melbourne he was touching 150 for a couple of spells, and bowled with real pace. I think his pace is up, or has been up earlier in the series.

"He's bowled without luck really. Particularly in the first couple of Tests he beat the bat on numerous occasions, and there were a lot of balls where the rub of the green didn't quite go his way. Sometimes that can almost shape your series. I know from a batting point of view if you can just get off to a good start, sometimes that can shape your series, and you feel like the rub of the green can go your way. I think he's bowled really well, but some of those 50-50 things haven't quite gone his way, and maybe that has flowed on for the rest of the series. I hope that continues for one more Test."

It sure has continued into the first day of one more Test. Australia are almost of the view that Yadav owes quite a few of his wickets to Ishant's bowling at the other end. A foot fuller, and he could be getting those edges himself. That is why it is argued that it is too simplistic to label Ishant an unlucky bowler who will get the proverbial rub of the green one day. Forty-five Tests into his career, he should be able to bowl a better length without losing his wrist position behind the seam or the arm.

Perhaps it is too simplistic to say that. For starters, Ishant has bowled a better - fuller - length over the last year and a half. It has got him results at times - in the West Indies, and at Lord's - and at others it hasn't. It's not like Ishant hasn't changed things. In his wilderness days, when out of the side, he tried to bowl like Zaheer Khan with catastrophic effects. After his comeback, he has been bowling fuller, but he cannot deviate too much from what his natural length is.

It's the delivery you can bowl blindfolded, a little like changing gears when driving a car. It's the length that allows him to do things he does with the ball. It's the ball that got Ricky Ponting's edge when it held its line four years ago. It's the length that just goes past the bat nowadays. On a day that Ponting scored a century, he was asked if he, as an opponent who has history with Ishant, thought Ishant has been threatening enough on this tour.

"I actually thought in Melbourne and Sydney that he bowled particularly well," Ponting said. "I thought he bowled better than his figures would have suggested. Even today he kept running in all day. Sometimes you bowl well and don't take wickets. At other times you don't bowl as well, and take wickets. It's like batting … sometimes you feel like you are on top of your game, and just can't score a run. Other times you feel completely out of nick, and just can't get out. That's the game."

The more valid criticism is that Ishant has not strung together such unfortunate days in a cluster. That every time he moves ahead, he soon moves a little backwards once more. It was a tough, long day for India today, but even at the end Ishant kept charging in. He bowled the fuller length and produced the edge, but there was no third slip to catch it. His reaction, that half-smile in defeat, is the image of his career. Does he also believe in his poor luck or will he come back tomorrow and challenge it, again, with 20 more overs of intensity?

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 25, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    who miss pathan now plz bring him back

  • VSatish on January 25, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    ICC should change some rules to make the game more interesting. Mandatory declaration for teams playing against India when they reach 300. Anyway India cannot cross that mark.....

  • Diston on January 25, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Ishant reminds me of Mike Hendrick who could beat the outside edge countless times without getting a nick...tall, economical...but in retrospect a tad too short, too safe and every ball too samish...

  • on January 25, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    If 11 Indian players score 221+ made by ponting - it will be a moral victory for India

  • on January 25, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    he is waste..his bowling average is 38 now after 45 test matches..

  • trust_27 on January 25, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    I agree with most of your comments that Ishant has not yet fallen apart. Its a skill to get the wickets, which I believe he is currently not able to show. I believe rather than any foreign coaches, he need the guidance from Srinath who in his younger days was much like him, pacy but not able to take wickets. The transformation is vital for India's future. I do not see too many talent in India for now who really have the ability to destroy the international batsman in most of the wickets which are more batsman friendly compare to the earlier days. He & Umesh Yadav is vital for Indian future and needs to be developed and well equipped. After the test matches he should be sent to MRF pace foundation to rectify his fault areas which may change his likely hood of taking more wickets.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 25, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    He bowled really well in this test match. Almost perfect line and length and for a flat track, he produced so many edges. It is unlucky, not incomplete. He had both Ponting and Clarke caught at third slip.... except Sehwag did not have a third slip (he had a 2nd and a 4th). Laxman also dropped somebody (think it was Ponting) on Ishant's bowling. On top of that, he has beaten the bat an incredible amount of times. He reminded me of the Aussie bowlers in the 1st Test Match, 1st innings.

  • Mitcher on January 25, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    The most odd thing about Ishant for me is that Warner named him as one of the Indian players sledging about 'wait till you get to India' at the WACA. A fast bowler plying his trade on the fastest wicket in world cricket, yet pining for the comparitively unhelpful (for quicks) pitches of the subcontinent. Truly bizaarre.

  • on January 25, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    India should declare and concede defeat. They cannot win the match. Series is already gone. Why to waste time? Give up guys. Go out for shopping. Win or loss you are the best paid in the world. Enjoy with your families in Australia....

  • on January 25, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Technical Problem with Ishant is he does not have geniune out swinger, if you look at the successful test bowlers , the max wickets comes with slip catch. With his action Ishant will struggle to get wickets at slips , so he continued to look for bowled , catch others & Wk catches which are not easy in tests. So as a bowler he will impress and will be in the team but team India will struggle for wickets. So he needs to develop the skills to suppor the team else bowling good bowls and impressive length and no wkt to show will hurt the team.

  • on January 25, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    who miss pathan now plz bring him back

  • VSatish on January 25, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    ICC should change some rules to make the game more interesting. Mandatory declaration for teams playing against India when they reach 300. Anyway India cannot cross that mark.....

  • Diston on January 25, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Ishant reminds me of Mike Hendrick who could beat the outside edge countless times without getting a nick...tall, economical...but in retrospect a tad too short, too safe and every ball too samish...

  • on January 25, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    If 11 Indian players score 221+ made by ponting - it will be a moral victory for India

  • on January 25, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    he is waste..his bowling average is 38 now after 45 test matches..

  • trust_27 on January 25, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    I agree with most of your comments that Ishant has not yet fallen apart. Its a skill to get the wickets, which I believe he is currently not able to show. I believe rather than any foreign coaches, he need the guidance from Srinath who in his younger days was much like him, pacy but not able to take wickets. The transformation is vital for India's future. I do not see too many talent in India for now who really have the ability to destroy the international batsman in most of the wickets which are more batsman friendly compare to the earlier days. He & Umesh Yadav is vital for Indian future and needs to be developed and well equipped. After the test matches he should be sent to MRF pace foundation to rectify his fault areas which may change his likely hood of taking more wickets.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 25, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    He bowled really well in this test match. Almost perfect line and length and for a flat track, he produced so many edges. It is unlucky, not incomplete. He had both Ponting and Clarke caught at third slip.... except Sehwag did not have a third slip (he had a 2nd and a 4th). Laxman also dropped somebody (think it was Ponting) on Ishant's bowling. On top of that, he has beaten the bat an incredible amount of times. He reminded me of the Aussie bowlers in the 1st Test Match, 1st innings.

  • Mitcher on January 25, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    The most odd thing about Ishant for me is that Warner named him as one of the Indian players sledging about 'wait till you get to India' at the WACA. A fast bowler plying his trade on the fastest wicket in world cricket, yet pining for the comparitively unhelpful (for quicks) pitches of the subcontinent. Truly bizaarre.

  • on January 25, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    India should declare and concede defeat. They cannot win the match. Series is already gone. Why to waste time? Give up guys. Go out for shopping. Win or loss you are the best paid in the world. Enjoy with your families in Australia....

  • on January 25, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Technical Problem with Ishant is he does not have geniune out swinger, if you look at the successful test bowlers , the max wickets comes with slip catch. With his action Ishant will struggle to get wickets at slips , so he continued to look for bowled , catch others & Wk catches which are not easy in tests. So as a bowler he will impress and will be in the team but team India will struggle for wickets. So he needs to develop the skills to suppor the team else bowling good bowls and impressive length and no wkt to show will hurt the team.

  • Percy_Fender on January 25, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    India needs a bowling coach like Fanie De Villiers or Alan Donald and Ishant will get everything in place. Eric Simmons may have been a good generall coach but I do not think Ishant has improved very much under his tutelage.If McDermott could have done so much for mere greenhorns, I see no reason why Simmons has not been able to do anything noticeable in Ishant. He has everything. pace bounce and variations. I a sure someday soon Ishant will deliver consistently in a big way.He is a great bowler in the making.

  • PS2012 on January 25, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Finally, someone is spot on with Ishant's incompetency. I was tired of hearing this "unlucky" thing from almost all the cricket experts. Almost everyone ignored the fact that he is not bowling the correct length. His deliveries never appear to be going to hit the stumps. Making batsmen play at each delivery should be the mantra for every bowler. That's not the case with Ishant. Most of his deliveries are waste of time and energy. Ishant hasn't learned a thing in his 4 years/45 Tests career.

  • Rahul_78 on January 25, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Remember the article on Craig Mcdermott on cricinfo "Billy says get 'em driving"! Ishant and Eric Simons will do well to read it. Mcdermott has done it with the likes of Siddle and Harris who's natural length has always been back of good length. And after facing Mcgrath, Warne and Lee, Sehwag has termed it as the best attack he has faced so far. Only silver lining to this grueling series from Indias point of view is all three quick's have survived to tell the tell without breaking down. I hope they learn from this humiliation.

  • linusjf on January 25, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Zaheer Khan 45 matches 134 wickets average 35.76 strike rate 64.6 Ishant Sharma 44 matches

    132 37.19 65.2

  • on January 25, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    Indian fast bowlers have long learning curves, Zaheer had 102 wickets from his first 40 tests. Awful statistics and then picked up 183 from his next 42! Ishan has not really learnt much since 2007, very few five fors to show for it and we still talk about THAT spell to Ricky Ponting like Sachins hundreds in 1998 against Oz at Sharjah. Cant really be called a senior despite so many tests. Which again places more pressure on Zaheer. We need a strong bowling coach like McDermott who is easily one of the finest Aussie fast bowlers of all time. See the relentless pace and accuracy of bowlers who a season back were useless. Also each bowler should have a role, which I dont think is present today. Add to that our spin cupboard which is bare, and you have a weak bowling attack. Its time to take some strong decisions which has been pending for long.

  • ARad on January 25, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    Ishant needs to work a bit more on how to out-smart a batsman. Slower bowlers like Vaas (and, to some extent, Zaheer) have been more successful in subcontinent conditions due to this particular skill which is very unhelpful in subcontinental conditions. It is unfortunate that Ishant has been playing top-level cricket almost exclusively since pressure situations may not give him a lot of opportunity to experiment. Dhoni does not talk much to the bowlers on the field so another experienced player like Zaheer, Sachin or Dravid should take Ishant under his wings and help him develop his cricketing brain. Ishant has all the goods so it will be sad if it goes to waste.

  • on January 25, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Two good batters can build large partnerships against a week (mentally) bowling attack whose body language seems to suggest Australia has won the mind game. The white wash is inevitable. Hope Indian batters can dig in and make some runs for themselves. I wouldn't like to see the runs per wicket of the two sides in the series. I am guessing it will be a statistical anomaly. Thanks to the visitor for making another mediocre team look like a cricketing super power. Bangladash team would have played with some heart.

  • you2bd on January 25, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I cant understand why people are so much shocked and embarassed!! India are always like this when they play outside India. We should now talk about whether India would retain the test status if they play like this.

  • whippingBails on January 25, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    Its the failure of the coach. You can see both Yadav and Ishant have talent, but the coach is not giving them the directions they need. Zaheer too is clueless. India is lacking the brain of Kirsten and intensity of Kumble. Bring Kumble as a coach!!

  • on January 25, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    Yeah.. Ishant's very unlucky and Steyn so lucky :P.. Ishant is able to stick to playing XI just because no other fast bowler is coming along from billion population/all IPL franchise/famous Ranji level cricket.. He has become a bowling machine with just one inswing.. When Zaheer/Sachin/Dravid leaves, God save India for overseas embarrasment in coming years.. We are roaring back to 90's form!!

  • Crictragic1 on January 25, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Totally agree with Bombay4U; Sehwag is an extremely poor Captain; and we need someone like Ganguly or a Kumble to breath some life into this pathetic performers. Sehwag should move his 'kleaden feet' when he bats in the first place ! Hopeless and hapless India !~ It'll take a few years to re-build !

  • bombay4u on January 25, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Who teaches cricket to Shevag ? What sort of feild positions has he given to his bowlers, in perticular lack of slips and two midwickets ? How can Ashwin bowl without point, gully or cover, all this areas open to take singles, forcing him to bowl middle and off line for two midwicket to come in play ? offspinner needs to bowl outside off and bring the bowl in , this is rediculuous, why dont any other seniour players say any thing, why dont someone tell yadav not to bowl fast on this pitch, but try to reduce pace and bowl excillent line and lengty with some cutters and then surprice batsman with extra pace or bounce and yourker ever few balls but not to ball at the same pace , Adelaide pitch is very batsman friendly you need to be creating but consistant. I cant belive what i am seeying in this indian team and lack of ability to learn..Get Shevag out of here...Needed two spinners on this pitch, may be one wriste spinner.....

  • BalKang on January 25, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    I agree, the Ganguly 'Dada' mentality is what India need. I do believe that with Ganguly as coach with the correct backing staff that he appproves (may be get back John Wright as an advisor, need to get him back from NZ) but I hope you see what I mean? India can evolve again with a fighting spirit that is lacking on the field RIGHT Now as I watch the game! There are certain veterans that do need to retire, but then their are those one or two great and all time greats that don't need to be replaced just yet. A smooth transition needs to to take place.

  • BalKang on January 25, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    I'm watching Ishants Bowling now.

  • bombay4u on January 25, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Shevag should never be a captain, we need Ganguly like captain, who is feisty, motivating , somewhat carefree but not arrogant or out of ideas. Why was Shevag bowling when two new batsman at creise and just after tea ? It does not take a genious to bring spinner early, but why was Ohja not picked as this hard surface and long spells for faster bowlers will be hard on them, two spiners would be good. His feild placement were owefull, when we needed sleeps he had two short midwickets, at the end of the day and end of a session when bower need help with sleep and catching positions, you could not locate the indian feilers anywhere near the cordon. This was curcial mistake and it continued all day long as atlest two may be 3 cathes were not taken in that area. Yadav and in some case Instant bowled too short, Instant receovered a bit later but still he should be bowling up and close to the batsman. Take out Shevag, he has no ideas, especially in feilding.

  • Harry_Kool on January 24, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    Ishant has disappointed me greatly this series after his potential last trip. But to give credit, he has bowled really well this test. If he had produced this in Perth or other venues, the series may still have been alive. If he can only get some consistency. I am unsure of the Indian bowling set up, but something like what Craig McDermott has done with the Aussie quicks this season might be of benefit. Last season, Hilfy was awful and Siddle bowling a length similar to Ishant, i.e., good ODI length but rarely wicket taking length. He needs guidance, as does Yadav, who seems to be running off his own steam without any input from anyone. Not many bowlers charge in at the end of a really hot day and having received a lot of stick from the batsmen, and still put in a full effort. Great potential, I am still impressed with him.

  • Busie1979 on January 24, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Its not a question of mental strength. Sharma has not fallen to pieces. All the batsman seem to rate him. He bowls at 150kph. I think it comes down to Indian pitches that give bowlers no assistance. In India, keep it short of a length and you don't get hit around the park. Pitch it up and batsman have complete confidence to drive you because the pitches don't give much assistance. It is hard to change your game when you are playing most of your cricket in those conditions. Yadav has done really well to buck the trend and pitch it up, but cannot control the flow of runs. He bowls at the stumps for bowled and lbw dismissals. He does not try to find the edge because the pitches in India don't encourage that. I would hate to be an Indian fast bowler - everything is designed to take you out of the game over there, so you develop bad habits which you take overseas. As an Oz supporter, it will be very interesting to see how Australian fast bowlers go bowling a full length in India.

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 24, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    It looks like Ishant has everything - pace, ability to hit the deck,etc. Maybe he lacks something very fundamental - a cricketing brain. At the top level, just pace and hard work aren't enough - you need to outfox the batsmen. Zaheer is a good example of a bowler with limited pace but ability to out think the batsmen. Maybe Ishant could go to the Wizard of Oz and ask for a brain.

  • BalKang on January 24, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Hi think this is a very good article. Spot on! I don't believe there is any unbiased towards Ishant Sharma by the writer. It's true, in my humble opinion he has become very one dimensional, I accept that field placings have alot to do with it but maybe he needs to bowl it a little? I remember when he was bowling for India U19 World Cup winning side, I also recall the devastating spell in IPL (I know you can,t compare that to tests) but I' talking talent! Ishant does need to go away and work on things, maybe just fine tune to take it to that next level that we all are waiting to see.

    No doubt Ishant has a part to play in India's fast bowling future, a BIG part, IF he can fulfill his potential and get some LUCK!

    On a slightly different aspect, who would be the Test side people would like to see that takes India forward?

  • CustomKid on January 24, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    Like batting bowling is also about partnerships eg Wasim & Waqar, Warne & McGrath, Ambrose & Walsh etc etc. Pressure from both ends will have Ishant taking more poles I'm sure. They just don't seem to be bowling to any plan much like Australia did last summer. Fitness must also be questioned. I don't know how fit Zac is but if he's not then that isn't going to help Ishant at the other end if he can't have a solid partner bowling long spells.

    I also think a few more sporting pitches at home might also help Ishant's cause. The BCCI would never produce a green top that might threaten their batting gods lol. Seriously who would want to be a quick bowler in India??

  • on January 24, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    It helps if there is pressure from both ends. The way that Ishant has been bowling, if there were no runs leaking from the other end then the batsmen would be trying to score off Sharma and more inclinded to get the nick through to slips (If the Indian Captains bothered to back his bowlers up with some slips).

  • hes_a_victorian on January 24, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    Umesh has not failed at all, he's a young man still learning his trade, but at least he attacks the crease (and the stumps) and creates wicket taking opportunities. Mind you, I'm sure a good year and a half of playing test matches in India will those flat lifeless tracks will dent his confidence and impact as it tends to do with most young Indian fast bowlers.

  • on January 24, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    not unlucky or incomplete, just over rated by indian media just like any other player

  • nikhilshahb on January 24, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    Mental toughness and Sports psychology-- With NZ winning over OZ and Pak winning against England, who have weaker teams than India, the area of Sport psychology should be explored. The individuals making up the team with various personalities need to be in a positive mode of thinking, with confidence, belief, focus, discipline, temperament, patience and most of all will power. In team psychology, teams members have to get along, focus on the role they are given and perform tasks to become a winning combination. The tasks may not be 100 centuries but play out the last 10 minutes of the day's play, bat in partnerships, and perform all other tasks of fielding that adds up as a team. So team dynamics can be important.

  • Meety on January 24, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    Ishant Sharma has been a big dissappointment IMO, BUT, he has a lot of things go against him - not just luck. The field placings made you want wonder how on earth was he to get a wicket. I think he has tried harder than all the other bowlers combined. He tries harder in the field, & he bowled a lot overs yesterday. He was easily the best of the bowlers but as usual - no wickets. The most unluckiest bowler I ever saw was Bruce Reid, Sharma is not in that league, but fortune does not favour him. How Yadav has more series wickets than Sharma I'll never know!!!!!!!!!!

  • on January 24, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    India is really not that good...sorry to know but they are cocky and over confident which is why they lose....They have not learned from the last three test...they keep on doing the same thing over and over again....it wont change a thing....now if india loses at home, what will sharma and kolhi tell the world?

  • smudgeon on January 24, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    The good thing is that Ishant is still young, so he has time to iron out those flaws, find some variation, and be the kind of quick India desperately need. I think perhaps one of his major issues is he just doesn't get the pitches at home that suit his style - he's very much designed for Australia & SA-style pitches (I've always thought he would be India's "away-specialist"), and if he had more opportunity to play on such pitches, he would probably improve out of sight. However, with 12 months ahead playing at home, it could do more damage than good. Still, he has bowled better than his figures suggest, but he doesn't seem to have the ability to change it up just that little bit required to create real doubt for the batsmen & take a bag of wickets. On another note, I think Jaggadaaku makes a good point - there seems to be an odd fixation on speed with the Indian selectors...Praveen mightn't have high speed, but I bet he would have swung a few wickets in Melbourne & Sydney...

  • hes_a_victorian on January 24, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Two things stand out, firstly the bowling unit does not work together for long enough periods. India get bursts or sessions here and there but do not string them together You have to keep wicket taking pressure on batsmen... that's how Australia have managed to consistently take wickets of seemingly set batsmen all series, strong belief that opportunities will come and setting the fields for it.

    Third thing: Ishant's natural length is a bit short of the length required on Australian pitches. His length last tour was much better, he seems to have reverted back to old habits this time around. He seems to have a big heart, he keeps running in, but he just needs some decent coaching and application to get it right. He could definitely benefit from a season abroad playing on faster pitches to develop that wicket taking length until it becomes natural.

  • ccrriicc on January 24, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    These failures of these young players - Ishant and Umesh - speak of coaching deficiencies and ofcourse lack of a thoughtful leader on the field. It was stupoid to have selected four pacers in the last match, it is stupid to have left out Ojha in this one. India players are jaded - but they will come back - just overhual the management - inculding all the top brass, the captain and the coaches.

  • josef_kaye on January 24, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Look, whatever the other merits of this article, surely we can all agree that this is a greatl nested use of "simplistic." I still can't read the subhead without getting whiplash.

  • WindyShrimp on January 24, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    Ishant might be more 'lucky' with better field placement and more consistent bowling from the other end.

  • on January 24, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    He is neither of those two mentioned in the title - he is just incompetent!

  • Syed4cricket on January 24, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    Well said James Prasad...!!!! With 3-0 down India should have done something diferently. Its not only ignorance but Stupid to to commit the same mistakes repeatedly and expect the result to be different. I think the Indian Think tank in Australia has taken bribe to make India loose ar they must be Blind. It was obvious that seeing a wicket like India they should have gone for with 2 spinners. What these players need is a good kick in their butts. Nothing works like the fear of being dropped...!!! I am positive Dravid and Laxman will score some runs here to escape the hanging Sword. There is proof ... Look at the way Ishant bowled in this match... I am sure he knows that there are lot of other fast bowlers ready to take his place in the Team. he has improved... but still way way off when compared to the Aussie bowlers. India didnt seem to have a plan A..B Or C against Ponting or Clarke... What is the Big Fatso Duncan Fletcher doing in the pavilion . Good Luck India..........

  • TRAM on January 24, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Its amazing how in spite of so many criticisms on Dhoni, Sehwag in his turn doesn't keep 3 slips. Indian captains Dhoni & Sehwag are so quick to push a close fielder to the deep when the bowler gets thrashed just once or twice. But they do not ever bring the deep fielder in to 3rd slip even when the edges go begging in the 3rd slip!! This is nothing but complete negativity in the mind. Why cant Sehwag have BOTH fwd shortleg AND silly midoff at the same time for Ashwin ??? To me all the old guys must be dropped SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR NEGATIVITY. They have just NO IDEA.

  • on January 24, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    52 off 20 overs means the rest bowled 70 overs and conceeded over 300 runs on the first day of a test match. You decide who is at fault here.

  • Jaggadaaku on January 24, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Ishant Sharma is not only Mohammad Sami of India, but he is also Dilhara Fernando. The only difference between Ishant and Dilhara is Ishant grabbed 44 test matches in nearly 5 years while Fernando took 12 years. BCCI and selectors of Indian team are very generous to Ishant because the bowling average between Ishant and Fernando are very similar, but Fernando has been come and go type in SL. And Ishant is permanent, no matter his poor performance in every series, used to like Harbhajan. However, Ishant is a lot better than Mohammad Sami by numbers. Mohammad Sami hanged with the bowling average of 52.27 runs per wicket while Ishant carries 37.19. Looks like BCCI only look for the speed in every bowler while world knows the bowling variation and swing bowlers got succeeded more than speedsters.

  • the_blue_android on January 24, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Well, if 4 out of 5 deliveries are 2 feet outside offstump, he isn't gonna take many wickets is he? He will end up playing 180 test matches for India and will take 400 wickets with an average of 38 or 39. There just isn't anyone in India to take his place.

  • hhillbumper on January 24, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    He is not good enough.Thats the plain and simple truth.There comes a time when you actually have to get wickets and he just doesn't do it. I heard someone relate him to Srinath. Srinath was a quality bowler and Ishant is not.

  • on January 24, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    seems like 99.99% of Indian fans are against him.. No bwler has taken this much of criticism. Someone will learn something from expreiences..But he semms to be same bowler or even worse then before even after close to 50 matches and foreign conditions....

  • Itchy on January 24, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Too many balls wide of off-stump with no slips didn't help him yesterday (with two catchers in close on the leg-side as well). What ever plan he had been presented with by his captain, he was either unaware or couldn't work it out (or was afraid to ask!). The couple of times he did zero in on the stumps, he looked dangerous. He seems to lack the ability to think out a plan for himself and stick to it, nor does he get any support from his captain(s) or fellow fielders. An average of over 37 after 45/46 tests is simply not good enough - he needs to work on his game more. County cricket may be an option but would a paticular county want him? On current form, I would say no.

  • jamespprasad on January 24, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    I have been following India's performance in England and now in Australia, and one thing keeps coming up time and again, and that is the defensive field settings. It was repeated again today, and I did not understand it at all. You are 3-0 down in the series. You need to win to salvage some pride. You have the opposition 3 wickets down before lunch. You have 2 experienced batsmen at the crease. And you sit back and wait for them to make a mistake? What chance do you have of wining this test? I would have wanted to see Sehwag risking a 4-0 scoreline just to try and get a win here. Someone please explain the logic to me.

  • bagwan on January 24, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Thats not the point. Ishant is creating pressure. Indian bowlers are not bowling as a team, therefore Ishant's pressure is being released by another bowler. 52 from 20 overs, and he's creating chances, thats good bowling. Ponting can simply not offera shot to Ishant and know he can score at will off another bowler. This is where the Aussies got it right when they lost Johnson and started to bowl as a unit.

  • eng_mdkhan on January 24, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Ishant Sharma's lack of progress over the years considering he had Players like Sachin, Rahul Dravid, Sehwag and Laxman to bowl at in the nets.On top of that he had Zaheer Khan along side. I hope he reads this message and give it a thought because I still think there is time for him to truly become one of the leading fast bowlers in the world.

  • on January 24, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    Just like someone said - Ishant Sharma is the equivalent of Mohammad Sami. They seem to have everything except wickets.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on January 24, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    With Ishant it's the problem with length and line. Luck has no place in this. Neither is pace. He is fast enough. Just does not have control to bowl proper length and line AT WILL. Until learns to change these at will for any pitch conditions, he will not be a wicket taker.

  • SmartStrategy on January 24, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Things that could help Ishant Sharma:

    1. He must sign a contract to play county cricket in England. Lots of sub-continent bowlers can significantly improve in county cricket, because it allows them to play and adjust to overseas condition in a less stressful demanding environment and they can re-invent themselves.

    2. It's not just the captain's call. If a bowler is confident enough, he can urge the captain to change field positions, asking for extra slip cordon etc.

    3. I rarely see much interactions in the current Indian players in the field. It's a sad and very poor body language. The seniors should keep coming to the bowlers and provide tips and encouragement every now and then.

    4. India's fielding has to improve greatly. Bowlers have to be well supported by the fielders to prevent singles, boundaries, take catches from good shots etc.

    5. At last, but not the least, show intent/controlled aggression as a bowler. Try off cutters/leg cutters, bowl fuller, mix slower balls.

  • zico123 on January 24, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    i agree Ishant is not unlucky, he is so rigid with his length, he keeps bowling same back of a length or short all the time, how the hell he will get wickets!! he has to bowl full like what zaheer does, what praveen does, guys like Pattition who has played just 4-5 test matches look more matured than Ishant who has played 45 tests!!

  • BlueyCollar on January 24, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Hard to bowl well individually when the attack as a whole is below world class. Still seems to bowl a bad ball an over. When he does string a couple of good overs together he threatens. In regard to luck - The worm will turn. I always thought Siddle was an unlucky bowler but that seems to have changed. Could also give him the new ball.

  • mali_jr on January 24, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Ishant Sharma is Mohammad Sami of India. Eveything look good about their bowling but they can't get wickets :)

  • Shan156 on January 24, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Those who watched the game would know that Ishant was unlucky. He isn't a great bowler; not remotely close. But he did bowl well and was, indeed, unlucky. Another day, he would bowl dross and walk away with a Michelle. Hopefully, it won't be against England. Ishant and Umesh are worth sticking with but Vinay Kumar is most definitely not. He should hone his skills in Ranji and come back a better bowler.

  • Shan156 on January 24, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas, Agreed. I was watching the match and I was shocked to see the lack of intensity in the Indian camp. They were just going through the motions. Immediately after a few boundaries was scored, the field was spread. What does India got to lose? Why don't they attack more? India may have the most cricketing talent in the planet but lack big time in heart. Where is the Indian team that came back from a follow-on to inflict a crushing defeat on one of the all-time best team? The players are still there but they aren't the same anymore. Obviously, age has caught up with them but, in that case, shouldn't they know that and take appropriate action? I am not an Indian fan but love watching Sachin, Rahul and, sometimes, VVS bat. So, it is sad to see the three greats going through such lows in their career.

  • RECKLESSGOD on January 24, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Ishant reminds me of Mohamad Sami! A bolwer with lot of skill, ability and promise but same case.. no wickets.. frustrating for team to have him in playing 11 and also not hapy to leave him as 12th man.. Any other bowler that anyone remembers who could not get wickets even showing losts of skill and ability.. Also looking at all the Indian bowlers stats.. all the bowlers average around 30!!! Any comments?

  • iluvcricinfo on January 24, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    We need wicket taking bowlers not waiting for batsmen to make mistake. Ishant doesn't have capability to take wickets. If you don't take wickets in these conditions, you are not going to take anywhere. Players like Sreenath, Praveen kumar has the knack of taking wickets on helping wickets..Ishant lacks that..Probably it is time we should look for some alternative. Otherwise the results are going to keep repeating. Like how Ishant is out of One day team, soon he will be out of Test team too. On other hand Zaheer is a 3 wicket guy. I don't see him running thru opposition batting. Only Sreesanth has that capability.

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    sehwag is more responsible for this hard day than ishant,,defensive from onset, if there are no catchers then how could a bowler get wickets in test..

  • myStraightTalk on January 24, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    WHY HE WAS GIVEN MANY CHANCES INSPITE OF HIS MANY FAILURE? WHERE IS THE MERIT SYSTEM HERE? COACH AND SELECTOR SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED AND FIRED TOGEATHER WITH HIM. There should be some accountability..

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 24, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    The one word for Ishant from my side would be ABYSMAL. He's a CLUB LEVEL bowler only. There is nothing much special about him other than his height. He keeps committing the same mistakes over and over again. Bowling short on this pitch without too much pace to back you up is calling for trouble. The same mistakes were committed by pretty much all Indian bowlers. They simply don't seem to learn from their mistakes. This is so unfortunate. The coaching staff are only eating Indian tax payers' money and not reaping any results out in the middle. Duncan Fletcher as a coach has FAILED miserably. The whole Indian team is dysfunctional. Time for broad changes in the management starting with reckless Srikkanth. Dhoni should be booted out as captain along with the seniors (including Sehwag). Let a young Indian team play who are completely fresh in mind and body. I don't mind even if India drop down to no.8 in the ICC rankings.

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    somebody please teach him how to bowl leg cutter , out swing , slower, etc.,

  • Rahulbose on January 24, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    Ishant reminds me of Srinath, it took him forever to realize what his strengths as a bowler were and how to exploit them. Ishant is still young at 23 so maybe he should go play a full season of county cricket and work on his bowling like Zaheer did. But in these IPL days thats not very likely.

  • vellupillai on January 24, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Bowling a long spell is easier said than done moreso bowling balls after balls in one particular place is next to impossible,being a fast bowler myself and playing in first class matches i can vouch for,guys,it looks simpler but,beleive me you,its a lot lot more tough to get these things right,hats off to those great fast bowlers who dominated the scene for as long as 20 years in international arena.

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    poor Ishant cudnot deliver the bowl which cud gather by wicketkeeper above his waist.. all his deliveries collected just above the ground...

  • sportsfan23 on January 24, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    u dont need 2 sympathise with ishant sharma..hes a weak link in the bowling, look @ siddle nd others does he ever crib over his bad luck?? if u dont get a wicket nd batsman gets lucky, u go back 2 pavilion end nd bowl with more intensity than ever but ishant is xactly opposite. his intensity is lacking, body language dosnt seems proper while bowling..in addition, zaheers attitude 2wards his fellow bowlers is disappointing.. he may be the premier bowler 4 india but his attitude on field determines what kinda cricketer u r ! umesh yadav and ashwin r new 2 test cricket so no complaints there... its upto senior cricketers nd captain 2 ensure that enough help nd support is provided 2 amateur bowlers which is missing in indian team...every1 is king @ their home, but the real test comes while playing abroad..

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Ufffffffffffffffffff

    how much long time i see Ishant Sharma in Indian Team so pathetic selection

    if RP Singh or Ashish Nehra performed like him..they thrown outaa team but i am speechless towards this guy

    every1 says HE IS UNLUCKY but i think HE IS SO LUCKY because after all his POOR AND PATHETIC PERFORMANCE HE IS STILL IN THE TEAM

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    He is on the brinck of his career.. Will be dropped.. might be his last test for a while... This is waht ahppens when you take a ponting wicket in his debut series.. 5 years renewal of his job.. better for team and him If he plays domestic cricket for couple of years.. If you cannot bowl in 7 overseas bowling pitches.. you dont deserve further chances..

  • Vkarthik on January 24, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    He is neither unlucky nor incomplete. He is just incompetent.

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    This is a poor article - a copy of what Sanjay Manjrekar wrote on cricinfo last week, which itself, I do not agree with.

    I have been watching Ishant in this series and most of the times, its the field placement, the end he is bowling from and yes, luck, that caused him not taking wickets.

    Pl encourage the lad with your observations but donlt write in a way that could present him negatively in the media. He is a better bowler and India needs his services for a very long time.

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Mostly overrated.. You cannot survive in internation cricket If you dont have variations. he doesn't have a delivery that goes away from Right hand batsman.. How can you be lucky with single type of delivery.. Anyone can hit his deliveries.. What a pity that team is still sticking with him.. 150 odd in 46 matches is fit for nothing.. Better give him a break for couple of years and get highest wicket takers in Ranji season. useless and cannot think.. No use of potential .. If you cannot perform over 5 years of teime there is something wrong..

  • on January 24, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Ashwin had already played 2 matches before this, I don't think India would have conceded many more runs if Ojha would have got a game inatead of Ashwin or Ishant..or is it bcoz Ashwin is from the region n team f d BCCI President and the chief selector he gets his chance ahead of the more deserving candidates like Ojha, Amit Mishra and so on..also this game would have been a good platform for youngsters like Rahane and Rohit..it won't hurt to lose , if you lose with greenhorns

  • dosapati_anand on January 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Good post by Aidan Fx...good post by Aidan Fx...

  • T-800 on January 24, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    The great bowlers get majority of their prize wickets(non tail-enders) by out-thinking the batsmen. To understand why Ishant, despite having all the other attributes to succeed as a fast bowler isn't doing quite well, you only have to look at the other main fast bowler in the side, Zaheer Khan. The world's best bowlers have a knack for figuring out, what the batsmen they are bowling at are up to, and bowl according to that. Ishant hasn't quite mastered that yet. That, in my opinion, is the main problem.

  • Crictragic1 on January 24, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    I suggest Ishant should bowl at the stumps a lot more, or bounce the batsmen occasionally. He is certainly unlucky; and at times, is going through the motions of fast bowling without thinking of how to get a batsman out. At times, 4 out of 6 balls have been the same. To digress, I think India has forgotten their most lethal weapon of the past - the spinners. Pitches, nowadays may not favour spin, but I bet those great Indian spinners of the past (last ones include Kumble and Harbahjan) would have turned a few past the batsmen. Aswin has a mental block, and is far too defensive in bowling. Amit Mishra or Piyush Chawla - not in the team - would have turned the ball on Australian pitches; but Dhoni, and some other Indians, do not rate spinners very much. I think a re-think is necessary.....and youngsters taught how to keep attacking the batsmen with fielders around. One only has to look at Rangana Herat, Saeed Ajmal and M. Hafeez's recent successes.

  • venkateshkm on January 24, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    Ishant is like Srinath, just does not seem to appreciate that he is bowling about 6 to 8 inches too short!! Not sure if our learned Indian commentators go up to such a bowler and suggest these things to him, but they sure parrot these things match after match year after year. I fear that Ishant will end up like Srinath for simply refusing to learn from mistakes. Is it not obvious to him too??

  • aahahaa on January 24, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Ishant is 23 not 33 like Zaheer, who IS bloody over rated. while it is true that a captain is only as good as his team, it is also true that a captain can and should inspire his team to perform at their best. when you are trashing Ishant also look at the quality of fielding and field placings. how many times have you seen him or Umesh bowl with 3 or 4 slips a short leg and a gully. Bowlers like him dont come very often, at least in India. problem is bowlers in this country dont always get their due and the funny thing is it is the bowlers who win you Tests. if you dont understand how it woks, it isn't worthwhile doing , watching or commenting about it.

  • HumungousFungus on January 24, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Valid points made, and the question of bowlers "natural" lengths is an interesting one. Srinath was a bowler whose natural length was a tiny bit shorter than it needed to be. Andrew Caddick another classic example: He kept hearing that his length was too short and he kept missing the edges, but when he pitched it right up, it was generally floaty half-volley filth that was summarily dispatched. Ishant is another bowler whose natural length is just a touch shorter than it probably needs to be. I have never been sure about Ishant, but I was at the Oval Test in August when he bowled a couple of excellent spells against Bell and Pietersen, who were very well set, but with no reward at all. The issue he faced then, as he did today, is that India were gifting runs at the other end, meaning the batsmen were happy to defend or leave the good deliveries as there was no pressure on them to score. Bowling is about partnerships, and I feel that Ishant is being let down by some of his colleagues...

  • Unmesh_cric on January 24, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    I like Ishant Sharma for his attitude..but, as mentioned in this articles, his length seems to be a bit too short at times. It gives the batsman that fraction of a second to decide whether to leave the ball or play at it. I hope he tries to bowl a fraction fuller tomorrow. Also, on some days, his line is a bit too wide outside off-stump. He is at his best when he gets his line right, i.e. top of off-stump.

  • sriniaiyer on January 24, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Irfan should be playing instead of Ishant.I agree Ishant has picked up on pace which is a good thing but he should also learn to attack the stumps like Umesh Yadav has done in his first series.He looks listless and unmotivated to say the least.It is time for ishant to make way as we have persisted with him for too long without results.Sreesanth is another.

  • ElPhenomeno on January 24, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Ishant is indeed india's mohammed sami. Waqar tried relentlessly to help him but couldn't get his wrist position right, which in his own words, took the bite out of sami's bowling. Sami was such a heartbreak if you enjoy fast bowling. Unbelievable athlete too but just couldn't get technical things right. I feel something similar is happening with ishant. Beating edges is not good enough, you dont get points for beating bats. No one keeps track of those stats. Eventually, you either have it or you don't. After 45 tests - and its hard to believe he's played 45 tests, I didn't realize it until manjeraker pointed it out in one of his articles, it seems he might not be too far from biting the dust. India really need to look to its neighbour to see how pakistanis are producing quality fast bowlers in almost an assembly line. Pakistanis produce fast bowlers like brazil produces world class footballers.

  • on January 24, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    We Indian cricket fans, by and large, don't know the middle path --to take a balanced view. Either we go overboard in our praise or rip apart -- especially when one is down. Of course, nothing succeeds like success -- in any field. Failure, irrespective of the reasons, spell doom.

  • r1m2 on January 24, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Ishant >>> Sami

    Ishant despite losing form has somehow managed to get to 100+ wickets. Sami could've played another 50 tests and odds of him reaching 100 wickets would still be stacked against him.

    I think Ishant lost his way and he needs to be dropped. He's not done anything of note in the recent history. There's Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron in the wings to support Zaheer. Maybe Irfan Pathan should get a go as well, since Irfan can bat well.

    I am wondering why Pankaj Singh never got a chance in tests? He seems to have a good domestic record and the fella is quite tall. Although tall doesn't mean much, Ishant is quite tall himself. But why despite having a decent domestic record does Pankaj Singh not get a few matches to show what he's got is unfathomable to me. How many tall fast bowlers exist in India? India has already lost VRV Singh, but even VRV got a fair chance which he failed to capitalize on.

  • on January 24, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Today, he id bowl a few "wicket taking deliveries" Either it didn't carry, or the fielder wasn't there, or swung was a fraction of an inch more, or just unlucky. As McDermot tells his bowlers "a fuller length" might have helped. At least it worked for Siddle and Hilfy.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 24, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Where are the slips? What can he do when as many as 5 catches went through the slips and 1 catch fell short of the slips?

  • HawksEyeFocused on January 24, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    A Message to Team India from BCCI: Well done!!! Stick to our plan. Don't try to win all the remaining matches as well. We want to fix all these matches in Australia foolprooflly as we had done it in 1996 Semi-Final against Sri Lanka. The three Pakistanis were not expert. They had to come to us to team how we have been fixing matches and making the whole world fool esp. our crazy Indian fans. But no problem these crazy Indian fans would never know our plan as we have strong financial muscles. Jai Money Hare India!

  • voyager on January 24, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Obtain pitch maps of Mcgrath and Mohammad Asif and compare and adjust.

  • doublestrike on January 24, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    I would like Cricinfo to do a review of how he took wickets in WI and 3rd test against NZ at home. I think he gets inside edges onto stumps rather than have the stock ball hit the top of the off-stump stumps flush. He can also get outside edges, if by rare chance he is able to hold the line. For left-handers, he is easy to leave on line. For right-handers, they can leave on length and score off loose balls. In England and SA, the batters were hitting his stock ball because he didn't have enough pace. Some one like Pietersen was getting outside the line and playing him to the onside. In summary, Ishant needs to find some way of bowling a bit fuller without getting hit. McGrath lines hitting offstump/ holding line and if possible Morne Morkel's pacy short balls to catch the batsmen off guard. Some limited over cricket may help. Propably we won't see him in test cricket in the near future.

  • j.chaku on January 24, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    Ridiculous bowling by the Indian Team. No one has the fire power and they have already gien up in this test. You could easily see the body language.

    Ishant, bluntly put, is an overrated bowler.

    This series is painful. Before making changes to the team, there should be serious changes in BCCI.

    Rajeev Shukla should go; why is his head getting bigger by the day!!

  • its.rachit on January 24, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    honestly after 50 test matches and severe under performance, a bowler cannot be called unlucky ... he is incompetent and vastly over rated ... averages more than 50 in countries with pitches conducive to pace bowling... only time he has performed is in west indies ... and honestly that does not count ... WI and BD are the same level for me ....

  • Smithie on January 24, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Sidarth there is the possibility that you will have the opportunity to interview SRT in the next couple of days (hopefully when the 100 100th appears). Please take the chance to ask him directly his position on DRS. Atherton made the interesting point in the London Times yesterday that DRS has bought off spinners into the game more since batsmen have to play with their bat - they cannot play a pseudo shot behind the pad any more. Is it is this greater vulnerability to LBW that is behind SRT's apparent reluctance to endorse DRS. Please use your journalistic reputation to bring more transparency to this ongoing (and frustrating for many ) cricket conundrum.

  • on January 24, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    its all cuz of coach.....cant he tell bowlers to change the lenght. in these kinds of pitches u need to bowl wicket to wicket....with some yorkers. that builds pressure....

    why cant keep the off side field pack n keep the offf line ..will be way easy to take wickets then trying to take wickets without slip......sehwag missed his chance of captaincy..make sachin captain for last time...get rid of gambhir...dravid , dhoni and laxman. bring in Karthik(wk), M.vijay, badrinath, and rohit sharma, harbhajan's intensity is missing too. ashwin is a gud cricketter but i dont see him being legend..which harbhajan will be once he comes back again

  • on January 24, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    He terribly lacks the sporting ingredients in him!!

  • on January 24, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    its not just about bowling full...test cricket is all about setting up a batsman....something that we dont see with Ishant...just runs in mindlessly and bowls over after over hoping for some success...a lot of people will say Waqar and Wasim got most of their wickets by bowling full but if you'd watched them closely you'll see that they would work batsmen over before sending them back to the pavilion...and that is the only way to be successful at test level...mindlessly bowling full would again make you ineffective

  • on January 24, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    It is not luck. We have seen this in the past with Javagal Srinath. He kept bowling short and beating the bat instead of getting edges. I heard Dhoni say in the press conference that short of length, hitting the deck hard is Ishant Sharma's style. If he is not getting wickets then he has to change it. Two easy changes can get him wickets. 1) Bowl from closer to stumps. Easier said than done. The Indian bowlers run at an angle when the arrive to the bowling crease. This causes them run on the wicket when they bowl closer to stumps due to momentum. Just straight up the bowling run up and bowl closer to the stumps. It will help them get off the pitch easily 2) Fuller length: He is mentally afraid to be driven for four down the ground. His natural delivery is sort of length and every time he pitches it up it is hit for a four because it is too full. When you the very next delivery it is short and angling in. With this length all he will get is Oohs and Aahs and not wickets.

  • thinktank1 on January 24, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    boss.. it's simple.. he has no specific plan.. He should learn something from Zaheer.. how to setup a batsman.. where is the yorker ?? and why can't you bowl 20 consecutive good length deliveries.. batsmen will nick atleast 2 times.. He has no patience.. he can't think. He is not unlucky.. he is just an average bowler. :)

  • on January 24, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    this is precisely why BCCI bosses should open their door for such youngsters to participate in domestic tournaments overseas. I firmly believe that a county stint would do wonders to the self confidence of this young man here. In fact players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane should be encouraged to skip one season of the IPL to play county championships or the Sheffield Shield as much as possible. Even the HRV cup is not a bad option. The more these players are exposed to alien condtions the better they would get. IPL is just a pay check gimmick, it should be encouraged after your players have become perfectly skilled to play any sort of cricket. Look at CA, Pattinson and Cummins would have been like hot cakes, yet they made sure both were convinced to skip the competition in order to preserve them from undue work load. Why cant BCCI sacrifice a little money and ask their players to do things that would help their cricket and the country get glory ??

  • inswing on January 24, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Manjaraker wrote the best article on Ishant. He is not unlucky, simply not good enough. The reason is that at a wicket-taking fuller length, he is not able to do much with the ball. The ball responds only when he bowls short. That is not wicket-taking length, and the bowler usually appears unlucky in those cases because you can beat the bat a few times but not take wickets. You can be unlucky for one, two, three innings. You cannot be unlucky in 40 out of 44 tests. Ishant is a below average bowler is who is hard working with a good attitude. He is still young, fortunately. He should be dropped, trained by someone who knows what they are doing, and given another chance in two years.

  • am5786 on January 24, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    At this pace if he plays for another 15 years at this rate he'll end up playing 180 tests with 528 wickets. Which is not bad I guess. :)

  • venbas on January 24, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    How come a bowler can be unlucky series after series after series. After the 2008 magic, Ishant has been found wanting. Unfortunately we really do not have any able bench strength and hence he keeps huffing and puffing away whilst India blows yet another chance of making a game of it.

  • on January 24, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    There is a technical flaw in his wrist action and his head position just after he releases the ball. Sanjay Manjrekar promptly mentioned about Courtney Walsh's comment on his head position. Therefore he doesn't have any option but to tinker with his length. i mean there cant be an unlucky bowler of 44 test matches. His record is as shambolic as his tag of unlucky bowler.

  • BoonBoom on January 24, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Neither unlucky nor incomplete........... just over-rated!!!

  • AidanFX on January 24, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    I remember hearing Boycott say prior to this tour "Look Ishant will never be a fast bowler (read express -145-50+). He is not that sort of bowler". I have heard Boycott say on other occasions (his view) that very fast bowlers have a gift - you either have it or you don't. If you don't you need to find other ways to become successful. I do remember Ishant from last tour - actually then he reminded me of a certain G McGrath. I guess it was the sort of natural length he bowled and his height. I did not immediately see him as an express bowler. Although I vaguely remember him bowling out Clarke in a 50 over match at around 147 km/h. When I saw Ishant in Melb I noticed he speeds were very quick possibly quicker than Siddle and Pattison - both of whom bowled quickly in Melb (although there wasn't much in it). But I then began to wonder what Boycott was talking about. Well after an ave series, and criticism on his technique maybe Geoff is right - he is trying to be something he ain't?

  • yoogi on January 24, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Actually it is the pressure that you put your opposition under when bowling. That comes from a lot of things, your score, fielders, support bowlers and you or your captain getting the right fielding for you. In india seam bowlers are just appetizers who gets the ball a bit old. Outside India, in 30 overs you have nothing to defend, your fielders don't chase or dive, captain opts to contain runs and support bowlers disappoint you. and having to bowl more than 40 overs within 2 days is overload of work that doesnt suit well for bowling

  • zico123 on January 24, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    BCCI pls stop this torture which is going on for 8 consecutive overseas Test matches, either do something to about it or scrap all future overseas Test series of India, we viewers can't take this anymore, it is painful to watch them

  • itsthewayuplay on January 24, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Ishant's issue with bowling the right length reminds me of Srinath. Srinath beat the bat countless times with the new ball but if he had pitched the ball up by between 6 to 12 inches he could have devastating. But Srinath always felt that it would have been counterproductive because he would have lost pace and therefore not got the edges. I hope that Ishant doesn't go the same way but he is worth investing in because he has potential but whether that means time away from tests or not I don't know. But either way he won't reach his peak until about 26 / 27 and must be well looked after.

  • on January 24, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Perfect Summation of Ishant! Bowling machine without a brain....

  • MaruthuDelft on January 24, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    What unlucky? Incomplete; in the sense he is not able to find for himself a workable method to get wickets; it is not something easy. In India Zaheer and Praveen have it as pace bowlers. Another notable cricketer who lacks it is Harbajan. I believe Ojah has it. And very surprisingly RP Singh has it; he is a little playful but he has it for sure.

  • ahweak on January 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    almost there is not actually there....if he hasn't learnt how to get those edges...by bowling fuller, as pointed out in the article, he will always be unlucky.

  • on January 24, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Ishant is India's Mohammad Sami

  • on January 24, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    A potential bowler but Enough chances given to him, i mean its very funny that the benches are never tried overses in test,,,,are they just reserve ? varun aaron and munaf wernt given chances in england, test to inshant none to mithun and ojha... they are just drawing the attention away through such news, he has been good but in patches few good ones and a boundary ball here and there,,, how can they cant make the most of these conditions where it suits these quicks, and they repesent india overseas, either he is still not 100 % fit or mentally not ready, we back u ishant hope u make it count, dont become the next agarkar or nehra

  • on January 24, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    All he pretty much does is in-swing and no more variation. With in-swing there is less possibility for getting out by catch or bowled (due to the height). As he is tall, and due to the length he bowls he will never get LBW decision. Anyway, I am not sure if anyone told him, if he needs to be a successful bowler, he needs to develop slow balls (that way height won't come into factor), outswinger, variation in length (especially practice yorking in the nets, learn from umesh)

  • NaniIndCri on January 24, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Yesterday it was not his luck, but the field sets that hurt him. Don't understand why there can't be 3 slips on first day especially for a bowler who is bowling well. Forget total day, slips did not last at least for half day. When everyone is asking for more attacking fields, Indians went a step back with more defenseless defensive fields.

  • PutMarshyOn on January 24, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Well I don't know - the stats over that many tests are probably a fair indicator. His ave. & strike-rate don't speak of a tier-1 bowler. At his best he troubles everyone, and you can never fault his attitude. I wonder whether the mechanics of his action make it difficult to consistently be at his best. When I think of other bean-pole quickies who were consistently successful - e.g McGrath, Pollock, Walsh, Ambrose - they had more rhythmic actions.

  • ravi_hari on January 24, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Ishant is a trier and does it with a big heart. He is ready whenever his captain calls him and goes full steam from word go. However, I think what he is missing is planning the batsman out and using the different kinds of balls they use in test and other forms of cricket. I think Ishant has to practise a lot with the kookabur to get the results he is capable of. In the Australian conditions you need to bowl like the Aussies do. At the righr places, with the right pace and bending the back a little bit. Secondly, we should not expect Ishant to take wkts every time he runs in. If he is creating opportunities for the other bowlers to take wkts it very good. Look how Harris did it perfectly in Perth. Siddle does is quite often. Secondly, Ishant needs to use the crease the round the wkt angle once in a while just to be a little different. He rarely goes round the wkt. Zaheer does it with a lot of success, Ishant also can try it. If he stays fit, Ishant can develop into a very effective bowl

  • suhailundre on January 24, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    finally, someone has raise this issue. why are we accepting that our 'lead' bowler is wicketless in 22 overs. seriously, if you can't take wickets in australia , then what hope do you have. ishant has had his chance. and if he is wicketless because he is unlucky , then india needs to pick a bowler with luck on his side.

  • Asterisk on January 24, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    he should be treasured for his attitude and ability to keep at it . bowling at 140 kmph thru out the day and thru a long series is appreciable. however he is doing himself a disservice when he bowls short of length ala srinath ... india is loosing out on a very good wicket taker and a probable match winner ... now with this talent i am sure a good bowling coach will help . why is the board not investing in a good swing bowling coach like prabhakar . bowling needs the support and we will for sure get the benefits accruing .

  • NeoTheSaviour on January 24, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    what unlucky ??? He has played 44 test matches and he spills 37 runs per wicket. I dont know for how long India will persist with his incompetence. "Goodish" fast bowlers have an average around 27-29. For a subcontinental fast bowler i guess 29-31 is acceptable. But 37 its too poor for a bowler to continue. He should prove himself as bowler in domestic and come back.

  • Avidcricketlover on January 24, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    This guy has everything Team India was looking. He can bowl half of the workload. He is not injury prone. He can bowl high pace(145+) consistently. He bowls good line also. He has the skill with all of these. But he just haas to bowl one foot further and up. He tried that but he looses his wrist position and balance and his pace too. What a shame ! He needs some expert to work on him for that. BCCI with all their financial is not able to help him. A talent is being wasted. In 4 yrs, he has not even developed to the next step .

  • kingknight on January 24, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    i just hope he doesnt have to bowl those 20 more overs tomorrow. would love to watch Indian team batting by the time i wake up.

  • sportsfanatic1972 on January 24, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    One cannot be unlucky for such a long time. Ishant's average has become 38.00. Batsman across the world has sorted out Ishant. He needs to add more variety in his bowling. He should be dropped and should be given rest so that he can think over it as what is happening to his bowling.

  • on January 24, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    He is one of the most ordinary bowlers. He should be dropped.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Ishant is becoming Mohammad Sami of India , unlucky chap.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Has anybody thought of replacing Eric Simmons, the bowling coach. I feel he is responsible for the poor show of the Indian bowlers.

  • WellwisherINDIA on January 24, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    I strongly believe OJHA was better choice in Adelaide instead of Ishant, commentators saying Ishant is a unlucky bowler, Can any one say that,when he played a outstanding performance for india at last???? the way he is bowling realy useful for oneday or 20/20 cricket. but does not worth for test cricket.Now he cant play either in India or abroad,As fast bowler can he throw a yorker or block ball, he just bowls like bowling machine without any aim, I feel even naughty Sreesant or RP in his place would have been taken few wickets.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    A little stat for you: of all bowlers with more than 100 wickets, Ishant Sharma has the worst average.

  • Stone-Aamir on January 24, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    This is the strange tale of the Indian fast bowlers, start their career well, media start to compare them with greats and after couple of years of international cricket they became ordinary bowlers. Ishant has been tested for quite sometime and even after playing 44 tests he is still considered as a inexperienced bowler who is learning the art. After his miserable performance on the bowler friendly conditions in England and Australia, it is the right time to give Ishant some rest and give chance to some untested bowlers rather then playiing him hoping for some performance. This break might make him rethink and bring his focus back.

  • enigma77543 on January 24, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I've heard this criticism of many bowlers over the years that "he just little bit shorter than he 'should' be.....he needs to get a little bit fuller to 'get the edge'" but it's really hollow criticism when one consider the fact that many a great wicket-takers be it Ambrose, Walsh, McGrath, etc they always used to be "just a little bit SHORT" (NOT full) that's what made it difficult for batsmen to get on the front foot & that's why they didn't give away truckloads of runs even on their bad days......but what they did well is VARY THEIR LENGTH & LINE.....sometimes things are made to be simpler than they actually are by saying "bowling consistently in the 'right areas'", etc but taking wickets takes skill, discipline, intelligence & methodical approach, that's what separates the GREAT bowlers from such "unlucky" but "good" bowlers, the ability to plan their dismissals in their heads before they transpire on the field rather than JUST "bowling right areas" or "bowling a bit fuller", etc

  • luks on January 24, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Its just that he is 23 years old. Yes, he has played 43 tests but how many bowlers achieved consistency or knew their game completely at 23 years of age. He will be fine in the long run as long as he keeps working hard and coming back with intensity.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Good Article , but just wanted know why so much support here for Ishant ? I have seen this happening to lot many Indian bowlers off late. Bolwed well on tracks that did not help created oportuinities for wickets , we all know the the fate of those bowlers , did not get enough numbers in the wicket column and was thrown out.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Send this in as commentary feedback during the 2nd test and it was submitted. "Over the NZ series and this one, both Southee and Ishant have been labelled as unlucky. Amongst other 'unlucky' bowlers, the problem with these two is that they bowl too short. They beat the outside edge a lot, without much success, which is why they seem unlucky, but the reason why they don't get edges is because by the time the ball has reached the batsman, it has done too much. If they just pitch it a little fuller, like the Australians (and Bracewell and Zak), they could expect much more success."

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    He needs some expert advice to shape him up as a consistent bowler ...

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Ishant is unlucky to play under the atrocious captaincy of MS Dhoni and Shewag, he gets no support, bad field placings, and dropped catches, to top it all the BCCI for some unknown reason bans its players from playing county cricket where guys like him Varun , Irfan and Yadav will get valuable experience and make them better bowlers.

  • joseyesu on January 24, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    I thought of venting my anger of ishant but ponting's comment resolved it

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    For me Ishant is NOT unlucky, he is not competent enough!! Ishant always gives me a figure of a pampered little chocolate boy without any fitting athleticism to his physical stature. For his height and stature, if he was a good bowler, he should have troubled the Australian batsmen very much in this series. The result: India suffered in the first three test matches and continue to suffer in the fourth match as well.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    It's not just luck. You have to consistently bowl wicket taking deliveries and eventually you will get a wicket.

  • satish619chandar on January 24, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Unlucky for sure.. But he can only beat bat at his best? On his worst, he ll leak runs at will.. Does India need one like this really? No plan whatsoever(He is not alone.. Good bunch of bowling unit is supporting him there).. No consistency.. What if things dont go your way.. Just bowl and bowl consistently.. Wickets will follow.. Or it will atleast go to the other bowler.. All India need is COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE TEAM INCLUDING SUPPORT STAFF.. If possible, at BCCI level itself..

  • on January 24, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Ishant is an extra baggage, Ojha should have been in the 11. Aussies dont play spin as well as pace, Indians are feeding them with their diet, they are bound to relish.

  • on January 24, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Ishant is the worst bowler i have seen who has played 40+ tests. Then comes Muhammad Sami who played 35 tests and averaged 52. I mean how can you give soo many matches to a bowler who cant bowl. He is averaging 37+ and his place is guaranteed in the team. In last year, only performed well against depleted WI side and was pathetic against England and Aus. After looking at the selection policies by India, Pak selectors looking much better now.

  • dsig3 on January 24, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Alot of bowlers who bowl short of a length seem to always be 'unlucky'. Just ask Siddle. Pitch it up and he will find his luck may change.

  • on January 24, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    1) STILL bowls to short.

    2) Is consistently let down by his captains.

    3) Cannot sustain pressure. The odd good ball will NOT consistently capture test wickets. Remember 4 years ago he bowled accurately & energetically FOR AN HOUR just to catpture Ponting- now he bowls well for 5 minutes, then bad for 5, then well for 5.

  • indianpunter on January 24, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    collective denial by India.. where is all this leading to? Mauled in Melbourne, Shredded in Sydney, Pulverised in Perth and Assaulted in Adelaide ( about to be). Stiill the belief is " all is well". By not announcing their retirements ahead of this test, Laxman and Dravid have lost the right to call time on their career. No farewells, no sentiment. It should end here and now. They have overstayed their welcome and now, unfortunately, it becomes "good riddance"!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 24, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    He isn't good enough. Watch what England did last year on flat decks like Adelaide. Now that's how the best play!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 24, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    He isn't good enough. Watch what England did last year on flat decks like Adelaide. Now that's how the best play!

  • indianpunter on January 24, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    collective denial by India.. where is all this leading to? Mauled in Melbourne, Shredded in Sydney, Pulverised in Perth and Assaulted in Adelaide ( about to be). Stiill the belief is " all is well". By not announcing their retirements ahead of this test, Laxman and Dravid have lost the right to call time on their career. No farewells, no sentiment. It should end here and now. They have overstayed their welcome and now, unfortunately, it becomes "good riddance"!

  • on January 24, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    1) STILL bowls to short.

    2) Is consistently let down by his captains.

    3) Cannot sustain pressure. The odd good ball will NOT consistently capture test wickets. Remember 4 years ago he bowled accurately & energetically FOR AN HOUR just to catpture Ponting- now he bowls well for 5 minutes, then bad for 5, then well for 5.

  • dsig3 on January 24, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Alot of bowlers who bowl short of a length seem to always be 'unlucky'. Just ask Siddle. Pitch it up and he will find his luck may change.

  • on January 24, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Ishant is the worst bowler i have seen who has played 40+ tests. Then comes Muhammad Sami who played 35 tests and averaged 52. I mean how can you give soo many matches to a bowler who cant bowl. He is averaging 37+ and his place is guaranteed in the team. In last year, only performed well against depleted WI side and was pathetic against England and Aus. After looking at the selection policies by India, Pak selectors looking much better now.

  • on January 24, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Ishant is an extra baggage, Ojha should have been in the 11. Aussies dont play spin as well as pace, Indians are feeding them with their diet, they are bound to relish.

  • satish619chandar on January 24, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Unlucky for sure.. But he can only beat bat at his best? On his worst, he ll leak runs at will.. Does India need one like this really? No plan whatsoever(He is not alone.. Good bunch of bowling unit is supporting him there).. No consistency.. What if things dont go your way.. Just bowl and bowl consistently.. Wickets will follow.. Or it will atleast go to the other bowler.. All India need is COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE TEAM INCLUDING SUPPORT STAFF.. If possible, at BCCI level itself..

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    It's not just luck. You have to consistently bowl wicket taking deliveries and eventually you will get a wicket.

  • on January 24, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    For me Ishant is NOT unlucky, he is not competent enough!! Ishant always gives me a figure of a pampered little chocolate boy without any fitting athleticism to his physical stature. For his height and stature, if he was a good bowler, he should have troubled the Australian batsmen very much in this series. The result: India suffered in the first three test matches and continue to suffer in the fourth match as well.

  • joseyesu on January 24, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    I thought of venting my anger of ishant but ponting's comment resolved it