England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day July 21, 2014

Ridiculed Ishant ridicules England

Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England
108

Play 04:33
Highlights: Ishant's classic spell paves way for India's second ever Test win at Lord's

"LOL is Ishant Sharma's middle name."

Bangalore, 2007. India have made 626. Pakistan are 96 overs into their innings and every batsman has made a double-figure score. There have already been three hundreds and a double-hundred. A teen, more like a young boy, with more hair than any human needs and an extremely prominent Adam's apple, comes on to bowl.

A ball from a good length jumps up and makes Faisal Iqbal's forward defence look idiotic. It flies off the gloves to a deepish short leg. It is one of five wickets in the innings for a 19-year old bowling on the many remains of deceased seamers who went before him.

India had found their missing link.

"Ishant Sharma is God's answer to BCCI's wrongdoings."

'Why does Ishant Sharma keep getting picked?' It's one of the most asked questions to people who have just admitted they are cricket journalists. You cannot escape that when you have played over 50 Tests and average more than 35. The current Australian team might be number one, but mainstays and recent sensations Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson have been at times the most abused victims of their fans.

Indian fans, when they were taking a break from abusing Rohit Sharma, would whip the Ishant boy all over social media. Tall for nothing. Over-rated. Slow. Can't keep his foot behind the line. Can't move the ball away from right-handers. Falls apart under pressure. Google suggests Ishant-Sharma jokes as its third search suggestion.

It's also not a shock to see why he is still around. He's tall. He's fast. He gets natural movement. He can reverse swing the ball. They don't grow on trees in India, or really, anywhere. If he uses all these things right, he's a match-winner. He's also a match loser. Ishant isn't as fast as Johnson, or as tall as Morne Morkel. On a bad day, he is a fast-medium bowler with a no-ball problem and average control. Potential is a powerful aphrodisiac.

"Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma."

A typical good Ishant delivery is angled in at the right-hander. The good ones swing further in and carry above the stumps to the keeper with a bit of heat on it. Akmal missed one such delivery like this. And Ishant decided to tell him about it. Loudly.

The scene looks bad because Ishant is screaming over Akmal, who is about a foot and three inches of hair shorter. Not to mention sledging a guy with an ODI batting average of 26 is like picking on the kid who isn't allowed to use scissors in class. Ishant has to be removed from the situation.

Against Australia, Ishant decided to sledge David Warner at the WACA during the innings where Warner swung and connected with India's head. Warner came back with verbal aggression and they had to be separated. But not before Warner said, "You're kidding yourself, you are a bad bowler".

A short poor ball from Ishant is cut by Root. India are sure it is out. Ishant is more sure. He's surer than sure. He stands a few feet from Root and discusses it with him. And discusses it. And discusses. Eventually the two have to be removed. Replays show Ishant may not have been right. Although I doubt any replay could have changed his mind.

It's not even just small aggressive batsmen that Ishant likes. During a piece of glacier-like fielding from Zaheer Khan, Ishant used a term that suggested an incestuous relationship after watching the ageing seamer allow an extra run.

Ishant has the anger.

"There are good bowlers, and there are poor bowlers. Then there's 500 feet of crap, and then there's Ishant Sharma."

Australia need 44 from 18.

47.1 A wide half-volley. Four.
47.2 A short ball. Six.
47.3 A straight half-volley. Six.
47.4 A short ball. Two.
47.5 A short ball. Six.

"47.6 I Sharma to Faulkner, SIX, SIX MORE, what on earth? Ishant Sharma had his critics before this game, there aren't going to be many people backing him after this, short once more, another pull, right off the middle off the bat, and that sails into the crowd once more, crowd not sure whether to be gobsmacked by this hitting from Faulkner or be thrilled by this sensational turnaround, that's Faulkner's 50 as well"

Australia win with three balls to spare.

"Dear single guys, if a girl gives you as many chances as Dhoni has given Ishant Sharma, marry her."

Ishant's last Test started with him cutting down New Zealand's top order. He bowled quick. The ball moved. And Ishant took 6 for 51. There were sexy short balls and tricky straight balls. It was lovely and New Zealand had no answer to it. It was the sort of performance that should have justified the selectors faith in him.

The next innings in the same game, Ishant bowled 45 overs, took no wickets and went for 164 runs. It doesn't seem to matter how good or bad Ishant is, Ishant remains.

"Dhoni isn't India's greatest finisher, Ishant Sharma is."

The 50th over at Trent Bridge started with a no-ball. Ishant bowls a lot of no balls. Ishant is known for no balls. Then Ishant bowled a fast, reverse-swinging ball that tailed in and smashed into Sam Robson's pads. Ishant does bowl reverse-swinging balls that tail in and smash into pads. Ishant is known for reverse-swinging balls that tail in and smash into pads. Ishant aggressively sent off Robson. Ishant often does aggressive send-offs. Ishant is known for aggressive send-offs. Ishant then bowled a short, slow long-hop that Ian Bell smacked for four. Ishant bowls a lot of short, slow long-hops that get smacked for four. Ishant is known for short, slow long-hops that get smacked for four. Ishant bowls a ball drifting down leg side. Ishant bowls a lot of balls drifting down leg side. Ishant is known for drifting the ball down the leg side.

That was one over. That was Ishant's career.

"It was Ishant Sharma's stunning form that made MS Dhoni take up bowling".

A highlight package of Ishant's best work looks as good as anything. Balls flying off a length. Quick swinging balls. Fast short balls. The hair, the necklace, the stare, the aggression. This is a fast bowler; you can smell it through the screen.

Ishant's best delivery is a short of a length ball that angles in, tails further in and bounces quite well to the keeper. It's a sexy ball, but it's not that likely to get you out. An edge will probably be an inside edge that flies past the keeper. His height means the ball goes over the stumps. It's essentially a theatre ball for people to "oh" and "ah" about. In the end, it's a tragedy delivery. It's the unlucky Ishant ball.

Ishant was once clocked at 152kph, but his wrist doesn't stay behind the ball like it did that summer. Sometimes his head falls away as well. If you can get the ball to reverse in, you should also have the attributes to conventionally swing the ball out. Somehow Ishant doesn't. He's flawed. And he's a rhythm bowler, which is often code for - he can be good, or really rubbish.

"RT if you can bowl better than Ishant Sharma!"

Australians have a different view of Ishant. They saw the young kid on his first tour bowl very good, and on occasion, very quick. This is despite the fact he only averages 44 against Australia, has an average of 73 in Australia and only has a best of 3 for 115 in Australia. It's because of how many times Ishant dismissed Ricky Ponting.

In 2008, Ishant took Ponting's wicket five times in Tests. Five times. Ishant had the pace and bounce, and when combined with a bowler who naturally moved the ball in, it was something Ponting never did well against. Here was a teenager doing it. Over, and over, and over again.

Somehow this guy had made a master look like an awkward teen. They had switched places. It wasn't just the wickets that he took, but how silly Ponting looked in them. His bat splayed weirdly. His balance leaving him. He was always late. He was always trying to survive. At the other end he would be Ponting, at Ishant's end he was the soon-to-be-massacred bunny.

Ponting eventually overcame it, and was only ever dismissed twice more in Tests by Ishant. By then though, the bunny stuff had stuck. And so it should. How many bowlers in Ponting's career dominated him for a minute, let alone a year?

If you couldn't get excited with Ishant at that stage, you were really fighting against basic human instincts.

"Newton's third law modified: For every N Srinivasan, there is an equal and opposite Ishant Sharma."

In the tour game in Leicestershire before Trent Bridge, Ishant conceded 64 runs in nine overs. He took two wickets, but even his mother would find it hard to justify that spell. It was made worse by the fact that his team-mates never took any of the Leicestershire players for more than five an over.

Today, in his last seven overs, Ishant took five wickets for 27 runs. He did it with five short balls. He did it with pace. He did it with energy. He did it with passion. He did it with all his flaws. He did it.

He will forever be the bowler who bowled India to victory at Lord's.

If you allow me to walk you through the third wall for a moment, you may notice that there are some "jokes" in quotations throughout this piece. When you google Ishant Sharma, 'Ishant Sharma jokes' is the third result. There are many, many, many websites with lists of these jokes. There is much history to make fun of. Little of it can be realistically defended.

Ishant's age at the moment is 25. Ishant is much maligned. Ishant is unlucky. Ishant is a bad bowler. Ishant is a 25-year old Indian quick who just took 7 for 74 at Lord's to win a Test.

Today the joke was on England.

Jarrod Kimber was 50% of the Two Chucks, and is the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bvnathan on July 21, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    Jarrod, a very good article on portraying the career of Ishant. Ishant bowling to Ricky Ponting have often left me wondering what is ailing such a great talent. I still see the youtube video where he gave RP a real working in the PERTH test. Such a talent not being nursed correctly and used with the right knowledge, bemoans the lack of guidance and advice from the coaching staff. It is very clear Ishant potential can be more advantageous to Indian Cricket, if and only if he is taken under the watchful eyes of an experienced fast bowler like Kapil, Wasim, Allan, who will be able to fine tune his lack of skills required as a bowler. I do agree that Ishant with so many tests behind as experience, should also take initiative on self-improvement and developing his potential. In this era of technology available, he can definitely do a self retrospection to improve on his NO-BALLS, YORKERS, SWINGING out etc. He can definitely pick one or two tips from Steyn who is his team mater with DC @IPL

  • on July 28, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Superb article, beautifully summarizing the 6 years of Ishant Sharma in Indian Cricket, an enigma, a prodigy, an unfulfilled potential but finally he has arrived as a match winner and i just pray that this is just the beginning of many more such performances. For all those who keep criticize him, just look at your own selves. I have been a fan of Ishant since he burst on the seen in 2008 with that sensational spell he bowled to Ponting, he has had issues with consistency but his potential has never been doubted. I still doubt whether he should be taken for the 50over team but knowing that the World Cup is in Australia he will be an ideal bowler for those conditions. As far as Lords performance is concerned, it will undoubtedly go as one of the most aggressive spells bowled by an Indian where he bounced England out. Terrific Spell just hope he carries on his form like this and maintains his fitness. Hope he will continue to rise further and further.

  • Hardy1 on July 25, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    He's taken 6, 6 & 7 wicket hauls in 3 of his last 4 Test matches now. Here's hoping it continues.

  • ram_sachin on July 25, 2014, 3:13 GMT

    Such a delight to read this article.. Kudos to Jarod Kimber !

  • Johnny_129 on July 24, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Like most, I have been a critic of Ishant but I only just read all the jokes about him! Now, I kinda feel sorry for the guy and see the humorous side. Couple of my favourites: i) Dhoni is not India's greatest finisher, Ishant is! :o) ii) Great fast bowlers reverse swing the ball - Ishant reverse swings the whole match! :o) Lol

  • memoriesofthepast on July 24, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    It is English batsmen, MSD and Bhuvi who have ridiculed Eng. Infact MSD has criticized Ishant. MSD has hinted that 1.92 m tall Ishant has to know by himself on how to use his plus points and dismiss the batsman. Dhoni has revealed to the media that Ishant has learn to be receptive to suggestions from team members. Ishant has played 57 test matches by now in international cricket. English batsmen have ridiculed themselves and their country by playing poor shots on a short ball of pace lower than those from Marshall or Akhtar and giving catches which the Ind fielders did not drop. 1.8m tall Malcolm Marshall had a lethal short ball as well as pace-he would get the batsman out or out as retired hurt. In 2003 WC match between Ind and Pak, it was ultimately a superb short ball from 1.82m tall Akhtar that dismissed a batter like Sachin who had made 98. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who got 6 wickets + scored 88 runs in the test and Dhoni deserved MOM much more than Ishant.

  • Johnny_129 on July 23, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    The answer to your question, "How many bowlers in Ponting's career dominated him for a minute, let alone a year"? Most of the great bowlers were in his own team BUT I recall a guy with a turban that looked like getting him out, every ball! See, Ishant had it all wrong when bowling to Ponting - He did not need the long hair, he needed a turban! Ishant really is an enigma, amongst all his failures he turns up with the rare great performance and secures his place only to punish that Indian fans further! But I really hope that Ishant will kick on from here and not return to his old lazy ways. In saying that, a five match series is very long to play the same pace bowling attack. With Binny being a bystander, the problem is exacerbated - India need to bring in another all-rounder in place of Binny. Perhaps Ashwin may be able to grab a wicket or two. Or if India are really bold they could replace Binny with a specialist pacer - Aaron, Pankaj or Pandey! I doubt that though. But NO ROHIT PLEASE

  • SrinivasPachari on July 23, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    In 2008, I watched Live how Ishant tormented the whole of Australian batsmen with movement and bounce off the pitch the entire series. I could see the troubled faces of Symmo, Ponting and Clarke. I was a sight I have never seen. I have not seen other bowling greats from the past, but since I have seen Steyn and Ishant during those times, I tell you, he was way better than Steyn. I know it could be hard to believe, but you do not get credit from Punter for free. Kudos to Ishant, I believe that, had he been coached and managed properly he would have been a brilliant bowler for India overseas. Great article!!! Come to think of it, it is very hard to believe that the deamon bowler I watched in awe in 2008 India -Australia series, has come down to this level of riducle.

  • vswami on July 23, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    @Chad Withyman : I remember that spell to Hayden. It wasnt a World Cup game but the triangular ODI series after the tests. India ran through Australian batting and bundled them out 150 odd that game and Ishant was unplayable with Hayden flailing and missing cluelessly. One of the problems that Indian fast bowlers seem to have is physical conditioning. I marvel at how Brett Lee maintained his body strength even as he crossed 32-33 and never lost pace while Indian fast bowlers seem to age and lose body strength.

  • mycricket2007 on July 23, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Everybody is praising him since last two days. but he played almost 60 test matches and he got this brain now ! what a shame, it's better to give opportunity to others. after 60 test matches still captain has to advice him. with this one performance he will survive another 60 matches.

  • bvnathan on July 21, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    Jarrod, a very good article on portraying the career of Ishant. Ishant bowling to Ricky Ponting have often left me wondering what is ailing such a great talent. I still see the youtube video where he gave RP a real working in the PERTH test. Such a talent not being nursed correctly and used with the right knowledge, bemoans the lack of guidance and advice from the coaching staff. It is very clear Ishant potential can be more advantageous to Indian Cricket, if and only if he is taken under the watchful eyes of an experienced fast bowler like Kapil, Wasim, Allan, who will be able to fine tune his lack of skills required as a bowler. I do agree that Ishant with so many tests behind as experience, should also take initiative on self-improvement and developing his potential. In this era of technology available, he can definitely do a self retrospection to improve on his NO-BALLS, YORKERS, SWINGING out etc. He can definitely pick one or two tips from Steyn who is his team mater with DC @IPL

  • on July 28, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Superb article, beautifully summarizing the 6 years of Ishant Sharma in Indian Cricket, an enigma, a prodigy, an unfulfilled potential but finally he has arrived as a match winner and i just pray that this is just the beginning of many more such performances. For all those who keep criticize him, just look at your own selves. I have been a fan of Ishant since he burst on the seen in 2008 with that sensational spell he bowled to Ponting, he has had issues with consistency but his potential has never been doubted. I still doubt whether he should be taken for the 50over team but knowing that the World Cup is in Australia he will be an ideal bowler for those conditions. As far as Lords performance is concerned, it will undoubtedly go as one of the most aggressive spells bowled by an Indian where he bounced England out. Terrific Spell just hope he carries on his form like this and maintains his fitness. Hope he will continue to rise further and further.

  • Hardy1 on July 25, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    He's taken 6, 6 & 7 wicket hauls in 3 of his last 4 Test matches now. Here's hoping it continues.

  • ram_sachin on July 25, 2014, 3:13 GMT

    Such a delight to read this article.. Kudos to Jarod Kimber !

  • Johnny_129 on July 24, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Like most, I have been a critic of Ishant but I only just read all the jokes about him! Now, I kinda feel sorry for the guy and see the humorous side. Couple of my favourites: i) Dhoni is not India's greatest finisher, Ishant is! :o) ii) Great fast bowlers reverse swing the ball - Ishant reverse swings the whole match! :o) Lol

  • memoriesofthepast on July 24, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    It is English batsmen, MSD and Bhuvi who have ridiculed Eng. Infact MSD has criticized Ishant. MSD has hinted that 1.92 m tall Ishant has to know by himself on how to use his plus points and dismiss the batsman. Dhoni has revealed to the media that Ishant has learn to be receptive to suggestions from team members. Ishant has played 57 test matches by now in international cricket. English batsmen have ridiculed themselves and their country by playing poor shots on a short ball of pace lower than those from Marshall or Akhtar and giving catches which the Ind fielders did not drop. 1.8m tall Malcolm Marshall had a lethal short ball as well as pace-he would get the batsman out or out as retired hurt. In 2003 WC match between Ind and Pak, it was ultimately a superb short ball from 1.82m tall Akhtar that dismissed a batter like Sachin who had made 98. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who got 6 wickets + scored 88 runs in the test and Dhoni deserved MOM much more than Ishant.

  • Johnny_129 on July 23, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    The answer to your question, "How many bowlers in Ponting's career dominated him for a minute, let alone a year"? Most of the great bowlers were in his own team BUT I recall a guy with a turban that looked like getting him out, every ball! See, Ishant had it all wrong when bowling to Ponting - He did not need the long hair, he needed a turban! Ishant really is an enigma, amongst all his failures he turns up with the rare great performance and secures his place only to punish that Indian fans further! But I really hope that Ishant will kick on from here and not return to his old lazy ways. In saying that, a five match series is very long to play the same pace bowling attack. With Binny being a bystander, the problem is exacerbated - India need to bring in another all-rounder in place of Binny. Perhaps Ashwin may be able to grab a wicket or two. Or if India are really bold they could replace Binny with a specialist pacer - Aaron, Pankaj or Pandey! I doubt that though. But NO ROHIT PLEASE

  • SrinivasPachari on July 23, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    In 2008, I watched Live how Ishant tormented the whole of Australian batsmen with movement and bounce off the pitch the entire series. I could see the troubled faces of Symmo, Ponting and Clarke. I was a sight I have never seen. I have not seen other bowling greats from the past, but since I have seen Steyn and Ishant during those times, I tell you, he was way better than Steyn. I know it could be hard to believe, but you do not get credit from Punter for free. Kudos to Ishant, I believe that, had he been coached and managed properly he would have been a brilliant bowler for India overseas. Great article!!! Come to think of it, it is very hard to believe that the deamon bowler I watched in awe in 2008 India -Australia series, has come down to this level of riducle.

  • vswami on July 23, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    @Chad Withyman : I remember that spell to Hayden. It wasnt a World Cup game but the triangular ODI series after the tests. India ran through Australian batting and bundled them out 150 odd that game and Ishant was unplayable with Hayden flailing and missing cluelessly. One of the problems that Indian fast bowlers seem to have is physical conditioning. I marvel at how Brett Lee maintained his body strength even as he crossed 32-33 and never lost pace while Indian fast bowlers seem to age and lose body strength.

  • mycricket2007 on July 23, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Everybody is praising him since last two days. but he played almost 60 test matches and he got this brain now ! what a shame, it's better to give opportunity to others. after 60 test matches still captain has to advice him. with this one performance he will survive another 60 matches.

  • on July 23, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    Deep technical analysis and humor sprinkled throughout. He did it with passion. ‪#‎ Well‬ done unlucky Ishant! ‪#‎ Ishant‬ remains!

  • on July 22, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    Awesome - among the best sports article I have ever read!

    Great analysis of Ishant Sharma's career. Deep technical analysis along with stats, psychology and humor sprinkled throughout. A job very well done!

    Well done Ishant Sharma!

    Well done Jarrod Kimber!

  • Johnny_129 on July 22, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    This is what frustrates us about Ishant - He has the talent and potential and everyone can see it. However, he constantly under-achieves, keeps repeating mistakes and does not bowl consistently disciplined. Then suddenly, he shows some brilliance to hold onto his place in the team! Hopefully, Ishant has now turned a corner and we will not see his lacklustre ways anymore?? If a bowler lacks talent (like Stuart Binny) then we do not expect much from him and it is not frustrating when he fails to deliver. Ishant is an enigma - Amongst all the failures there are moments of brilliance. I would like to see Ishant bowling a consistently threatening line - as opposed to one outside off and the next down leg! He goes through long periods not looking like a threat, at all. I HOPE, I HOPE, I HOPE, that Ishant has finally turned that corner.

  • Sultan2007 on July 22, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    When Ishant trundles in at 130k's with a scrambled seam, he looks pretty ordinary and whackable. BUt when he charges in at 140+ and bowls with an upright seam - and I dont know if many picked that up at Lords, he is quite a different proposition. I hope this was a deliberate change and not accidental. Reminds me of Srinath who was always a different propostion when he pitched it up just a tad, with his pace and bounce, but never quite did it often enough even though I bet he knew that was the way to go. I hope Ishant has learnt something from his success at Lords and the journey that started so promisingly in Australia all those many years ago, can now finally resume!

  • DnJsh on July 22, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    @mrd1911 - I guess 'good' would have been more suitable an adjective. What I meant is that he's not as bad as people make him out to be. He just needs to practice his control and precision. Needs to mantain line and length like @Waqaasumani says, keep at it and wickets will come, vary and runs will leak. He seems to be maturing now, so perhaps he will keep up in the future. He has won matches for India before. I just think the hatred towards him is over the top.

  • Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on July 22, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @James Nelson: What an absolute WASTE of a post. They have just won a test on one of the greenest wickets seen in the recent past and you complain about dustbowls?? really??

  • mrd1911 on July 22, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    @ DnJsh on (July 22, 2014, 10:37 GMT) If Ishant is great, what would Marshall, Ambrose, Waqar, Wasim, Donald, Steyn etc be?

  • luks on July 22, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    When Ishant was asked about that Ponting spell in which Ponting wasn't able to read which way the ball would seam, Ishant said he didn't know himself so how would Ponting know. :) The problem is Ishant has a lot of physical talents but he still needs a lot of maturing between the years. It will happen hopefully now that he is 25, improvement should be visible in the next 2-3 years.

  • on July 22, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    Im not an Ishant Sharma fan, but this is a good article :) Thanks Jarrod Kimber.

  • on July 22, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    If you look at the wickets apart from Moeen it was more impetuosity than anything else...but what won the day for India was to change the script, England had negotiated the line and length story and were moving into a winning position, moving to short pitched just upset their equilibrium thats all, if I were Dhoni I would know that this tactic can be used only very sparingly again. Ishant Sharma it is now coming out has been told to focus on line and length at the cost of pace by previous bowling coaches, he's only 26 so he can change, hopefully add a yard or two, but this is more a cautionary tale for Yadav and Aaron to be handled better.

  • Gilliana on July 22, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    A flash in the pan performance. Still not good enough to play Test cricket.

  • on July 22, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    One of the worst pace bowlers of the modern game. Had one good game in Perth in 2007/08 and it's taken him nearly 7 years to produce another decent performance. Oh wait he did take a few wickets vs NZ at the Basin Reserve in the NZ 1st innings but then I had the pleasure of watching him go for over 100 runs in the 2nd innings.

    The fact that he has constantly been in the Indian side for a long period of time shows the dearth of decent pace bowlers in the country. Which is not a surprise since they have hardly produced many great players compared to say Pakistan and the West Indies, apart from the odd batsman who cash in on the dust-bowl pitches that India is renowned for.

  • DnJsh on July 22, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    Ishant Sharma is a great bowler, albeit not quite consistent and with an action that either takes wickets or leaks runs. Sometimes it's not fair to demonise players like the way people treat Ishant, because they have proven that they do their all for the country.

    But this goes hand in hand with how cricket is a bit too popular in India. All is fine when people celebrate on the streets when they win, but something is wrong when they're on the streets when they lose as well, burning effigies (if not houses). Once again, I believe that most Indian fans are those who stand by their team through thick and thin, quietly criticising but unwavering in their belief in Indian cricket, but it's sad that the sore thumbs stand out. Especially the fans who comment other completely irrelevant matches trying to bring out the anger in other team's fans, that's just pathetic.

    Anyway, great for Ishant! Hope he becomes more consistent and keeps working as hard as he did.

  • WaqaasRumani on July 22, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    Ishant gave Pointing a torrid time for an hour before getting his wicket. Compare that to Flintoff, he only gave Pointing an over of an Horrid time before getting him out. I remember once Mcgrath was bowling to Aravinda Di Silva and though Sri Lanka had nearly won the match, he was still trying to get him out. He bowled a ball slightly outside off and got it to jag in to Di Silva who missed and was rapped on the pad. Bucknor gave it not out saying it was slightly high. Next ball, Mcgrath again bowled the same delivery but a few inches fuller and rapped Aravinda again on the pad. this time bucknor gave it out. What I would like to say from these two examples is, Ishant has the talent and can do miracles but he needs to learn on the job and execute the minor corrections with precision to get the wickets. Else he can put in all his efforts but without reward to show, he won't be recognized for it.

  • The.Ghost.Of_K.P. on July 22, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Ishant has discovered as MJ did that the more cruel the jokes the sweeter is the revenge.

  • on July 22, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Ishant bowled superbly. He also bowled well in the first Test and was excellent in the 1st innings at Lord's without due reward. Better the 'odd (great) performance' than no performance at all. Mitchell Johnson was the butt of many jokes after his initial impressive impact on the scene. He became a laughing stock for several seasons. Look at him now. Sharma really seems to have matured, he bowled with commitment, control , plenty of fire and enough speed and bounce to worry all the English batsmen. He's not the only quick bowler who has blown hot and cold in his career. Most of them have. The fact that he CAN produce spells of world class bowling raises him above the mediocre who trundle away consistently. At 25 he can still improve and have another 5 years or so at the top level.

  • on July 22, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Classic article. Thanks Jarrod

  • RPShivkumar on July 22, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    in last year's champions trophy last year after being repeatedly hit by morgan and ravi bopara , he took 2 wickets in 2 balls dismissing them both which turned a defeat into a victory. Dhoni had been critiized then for persisting with him even them but he had the last laugh. Here also his bowling has been up and down being unable to break a tenth wicket stand of almost 200 in the first test but he came back well in the lords test

  • on July 22, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    Ishant bowling to Matty Hayden in a world cup 50 over game i think it was. Best spell i have ever seen from a seamer, Hayden didn't have a clue how to play him. it might be on youtube somewhere.

    Always makes me laugh when Indian supporters bag him out one minute and then claim him the best in the world the next. If you all got behind him more he could be the best in the world!

  • on July 22, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    I hope desperately that Ishant is never ever selected for limited overs after this performance. His bowling is cut out for longer version and he does not have the mental ability to adjust. As a result shorter version cricket not only spoils his bowling but dents his confidence as an outcome. See the improvement in his performance over the last few series, after he was discarded for the limited over side.Let's have him for tests only.

  • on July 22, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    That was a fantastic Jarrod. For an Indian, that is as real as it gets when it comes to Ishant...! But, we do have a big heart and are stuck with him. He is just returning the favor.... LOL..!

  • screamingeagle on July 22, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    @sarangarajan, always when someone picks up wickets the batsman is second best either by good bowling or by bad batting. just accept the fact that ishant bowled pretty well instead of saying england batted badly. we indians do tend to celebrate wins, but we do seem to celebrate losses much more effectively. :)

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 22, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    @Sarangarajan: Valid point mate, but you're missing the fact that between those strictly okay balls, there were several outstanding deliveries. The wickets weren't due to the wicket-taking balls alone, but also due to the ones that came in between.

  • Sarangarajan on July 22, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    It has been a very pathetic England batting that has fetched Ishant 6 out of 7 wickets he got in the second innings.. Honestly speaking , except for Bells wicket, was there anything special about Ishant"s bowling in this series so far?We tend to blow up his skills suddenly now forgetting that his bowling generally lacked purpose and direction. He was lucky to be preserved so long . Hope this success inspires him to do well to reach the level he had when he had Ricky Ponting repeatedly in trouble some time back.

  • shanks1967 on July 22, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Ha ha ha...Good one....you do have a way of writing stuff with data nicely interwoven through out. The jokes were ...cruel...but I think at those times we Indian fans were fuming...I remember the Faulkner assault...breathtaking but we were hating and hurling abuse at Ishant.

  • on July 22, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    He is only 25? The way that Indian fans were talking you would thought he was 30 years old and had to be put to pasture. Ishant sounds to me like he is to India what Lyons is too Australia. He is not the best in the world but because of lack of options he will do for now. Still, at 25 his best might be in front of him.

  • on July 22, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Really Funny Jarrod. I don't remember when was the last time I had so much fun reading something on Cricinfo. "Dear single guys, if a girl gives you as many chances as Dhoni has given Ishant Sharma, marry her." or "Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma." are brilliant masterpiece. Thanks for such a wonderful article.

  • Mervo on July 22, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    I wouldn't get carried away by the odd performance every 3-4 years. He is there because no one else is putting their hands up in the pace arena. There is a huge gap between his worst and occasional best. That needs to be closed before he is a consistent selection. I wonder which fast bowling coach is working with him.

  • chuchan on July 22, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    excellent kimbering, jarrod, kimber on old horse! the only thing left to do is start a cricket-world syndicated comic strip with illustrations-can u draw jarrod, else get someone, and please accept my lifetime subscription at once!how funny is the truth! msd hand is's dosti goes back a long way-remember on the last tour to england, msd actually quoted is as saying that he didn't want to bowl the extra over and is backed it up in his interview with something that went like' yes i did tell msd i couldn't bowl any more, i am a human being, you know'....msd took that in his stride the last time but on this occasion told is to do his bidding.msd is changing, he doesn't now have the awful weight of the legendary batters or the one famous bowlerto bear and he is his own man more completely. for me, the main reason the english folded was because the ICC enquiry overhang had robbed them of their 'voice' on the cricket field. without the truculence and sledging, they were a spent force!!

  • The.Ghost.Of_K.P. on July 22, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    Brisbane: Aus 132/6 all out 295 then England are demolished by the much ridiculed MJ: Lords: India 145/7 all out 295 are demolished by the much ridiculed IS.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 22, 2014, 3:45 GMT

    Ishant did a Johnson imitation @ Lords,lording over clueless-and obliging-home bats.Albeit @ about 10mph less.It was Ashes deja-vu as batsmen 1 after other made procession back undone by bumper.A warning though.Don't try it @ 'home'.Or to Aussies/SA!-:)

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 22, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    The game changed in that post lunch session entirely.Would've been entirely diff. story as far as result goes if short ball tactic had'nt come to fruitition.Batsmen did oblige though.Pitch became flat,ball was doing nothing as Prior/Root were untroubled

  • roversgate on July 22, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    Lot of people are suddenly giving Ishant props and yes he bowled very well in the Lord's match but it doesn't mean this is a turnaround.

    No one doubts Ishant's talents...tomorrow if you stuff a microphone in his ear with Zaheer Khan sitting in the dressing room giving prompts before every ball then Ishant will go on to match Dale Steyn's performances around the world. He always was talented but needs constant guidance and someone to tell him what to do. In the past, Zaheer came up to him and now Dhoni has taken over. Hope whoever takes over from Dhoni has the mindset to continue the tradition of constantly babysitting Ishant to get the best out of him. If they don't then the jokes and frustration will continue.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 22, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    His showing in that Aussie tour @ 19 y.o led him to be hyped as next Mcgrath.That was to be 1 of factors that led his downfall.Was never that good to be honest.But lack of any viable options for India kept him in the team despite regular subpar showings.

  • on July 22, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Great article!!! Ishant is a bowler that everybody loves to hate. Today he is the toast of a nation.

  • class9ryan on July 22, 2014, 2:19 GMT

    He was terribly unlucky in the first innings. Time has come Ishant should not play T20I and ODIs again.

  • US_Indian on July 22, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    @p3000t- dude i cant stop laughing at your comment. One sunday does not make a summer. Dude you are comparing him with Johnson and of all the people Steyn Gun, are you in a good frame of mind or you need to be admitted to Ayyanavaram in Madras, Agra in north india (two of the biggest and most famous lunatic asylums in India). Ok he did well just appreciate his efforts but do not go over board which is a very bad habit of 1b + population. If he was so good why could not he take any one wicket in first innings? second do you think he will maintain this success for the next test or next few tests a big no because consistency is not his forte i can bet my last buck on that. Now you can understand how he has played 60 tests without being the best he out of the blue gives one such performance and cements his place for the next 10 tests that means if you go and see his stats you will see he has given a good performance only on hands full of occassion may be 5/6 times.

  • SanjivAwesome on July 22, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    Nicely written humour, Jarrod. I am googling Ishant to read the rest of the funnies to avoid watching him bowl.

  • Sexysteven on July 22, 2014, 1:34 GMT

    Hopefully this is the revival of a talented bowler that hasn't fulfilled his potential yet performances like that u can understand why India stick with ishant hopefully he goes on and takes many more wickets for India and becomes a great bowler that he should be by now

  • IndianInnerEdge on July 22, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    nice read Jarrod....i LOL'd at all the IS jokes....really hope this guy will turn out to be a an above average terrrific bowler. The problem is He is never gonna be an out and out strike bowler a la waqar, steyn, wasim, donald etc....he is always gonna be the workhorse courtney walsh type of bowler who runs upwind, and does the big spells....the problem is he has a big tag on his shoulders by getting ponting in 2008 series down under and in also in 2008 in india (incidently the delivery that got ricky in the first test second innings of mohali test, coudl have got most batsmen in the world out....was a ripper)....indian media and fans expect him to run through sides and this coumpounded with a pathetic pace attack team mates puts himunder the magnifier more.....we the fans and he himself should realise that he should follow bowlers like glenn Mcg, Srinath, walsh, keep bowling short of lenght, mix wit length deliveries and not try to be someone he is not-an out and out quick bowler...:)

  • Unmesh_cric on July 22, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Good article and good bowling by Ishant, but those jokes in the article still cracked me up :-). The best one was: "Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma." Absolutely hilarious!! On a serious note, I think Ishant Sharma is a good overseas bowler but struggles in subcontinent conditions. Also he is not suited for ODIs in my opinion.

  • bookie7600 on July 22, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    You are talented- SIR JARROD KIMBER ! That was one well written piece.

  • AvidCricFan on July 22, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Which Ishant will show up in the next test? With this performance, he is set for next five tests. One difference I noticed today is the pace he was bowling at. He was consistently hitting 85-86 mph with occasional balls touching 87-88 mph. His earlier innings in the series were averaging around 82 mph. With his style of bowling with not much variety to show, he needs to bowl at a decent pace to succeed.

  • on July 22, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    Wonderful watching Ishant giving it to England at Lords today. From now on he will be called not I Shan't but I Shall|| And Jarod you are on a wonderful roll atmo. This all needed to be said and you said it. Keep going.

  • oldtimer1940 on July 21, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    Watching Ishant bowl to Broad was SHEER JOY. I have been waiting for this since 1950, to see an Indian fast bowler make someone dance. This is by far the greatest Indian cricketing performance I have ever seen...!!!!

  • on July 21, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    This is second article of Jarrod Kinder which I have read. The earlier one was on Bhuvneshvar Kumar. I am already a fan of his. His style is unique and he makes his subjects come alive. I will be looking forward to reading more of his well researched articles specially on young cricketers from both the teams whom we know so little of. When he brings out the human side of the cricketers, it makes me wonder, how petty I had been by being critical and judgemental of these fine young cricketers.

  • TRAM on July 21, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    Say whatever you want. Ishant can not bowl good *controlled* swinging deliveries and he does not have the control of line and length either. He cant bowl yorkers either again because he has no control of accurate line/length/swing or anything. He takes wickets in most matches by chance only. If you keep bowling 100s of overs you will get some good balls and some bad shots from batsmen as well. Today England chose to hit all short pitched balls which was a wrong decision in an uneven bouncy track. And Ishant did bowl several good bouncers as well (which Shami could not). Any bowler who has no consistent accuracy and variety cant be deemed good bowler. Of the current Indian pace bowlers only Bhuvaneshwar is good with control & most consistent. There may be other youngsters whom we have not seen yet on TV.

  • McCurren on July 21, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    Well, Ishant deserves due credit for this match but can we ignore the facts? As a 'specialist' bowler playing 50+ Tests he is probably the worst with average of 37.

    While this performance and contribution at Lords deserves due credit it has to be seen in isolation as we see Ajit Agarkar's century at Lords or Harbhajan's 2 Test centuries. I would pray that Ishant wipes out his past with some splendid bowling in future but odds are not in his favor if we see his inconsistency in last 50+ Tests.

  • inswing on July 21, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    Kudos to Ishat for this match-winning performance. I have been a heavy critic of Ishant. I am still not convinced that he is actually a good bowler hidden inside a bad bowler, though that is what I want to believe. At least now, it seems that in some specific circumstances he can be effective. He had one 5-for in NZ as well. Hopefully, he can repeat such performances more frequently and not just once every few years. One cannot now insist on dropping Ishant at least for another 10 Tests or so, till he again starts giving away hundreds of runs for a handful of wickets. He still has the worst record of anyone who has played 50 Tests or more. He has to improve that, not with flashes in pans but with regularly decent performances. Also kudos to Dhoni, who I am also critical of. Hopefully this new Dhoni has shed the old passive and negative Dhoni. Good job!

  • on July 21, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    Truly speaking ishant can not be a spearhead even now cause he does not have a clear plan if the batsmen attack him. considering tht dhoni had to tell him to bowl short after almost 5-6 yrs in international cricket shows tht. bhuvi or shami might be better at being the spearhead. they have a calmer head and stick to their plans maybe even aaron as he develops. ishant has to still develop as a bowler and he is still 25 so he can. he is a gud bowler but has to be more consistent as well

  • here2rock on July 21, 2014, 21:42 GMT

    The home cricket inspires many and today Ishant, as an Indian Fan I am hoping this will turn a corner for him. No matter how he was ridiculed before he goes on the honour list at Lords. Well done Son!

  • on July 21, 2014, 21:19 GMT

    sorry but ishant and 7 wickets is shockingly funny

  • mrd1911 on July 21, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    @Posted by p3000g on (July 21, 2014, 19:09 GMT) Steyn has 80 wickets at an average of under 22.17 in 16 matches in sub continent dust bowls. Sharma in 26 games on fast, bouncy pitches outside SC has 89 wickets @38.94. Not quite Steyn. Also Sharma has played 55% of his tests in the SC as opposed to 75% that you mention. He's had a fair bit of chances on fast bowlers pitches I think.

  • UndertheGrill on July 21, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    Jarrod Kimber's by far the best cricket writer operating at the moment. Like a journalistic Mitchell Johnson without the 'tache, and the wildly inconsistent past.

  • on July 21, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    The jokes are spot on but we need to give credit to Ishant when its due. Well bowled. He should start proving why has he been picked so much after very ordinary performance time and again. Better late than never!!

  • agniupadhyay on July 21, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    To Jarrod Kimber: I want to applause you for this article. This is not merely about Ishant Sharma or cricket. This author is capable of picking up flashes and moments from life and relate it to an over-arching, universal story. Again, not merely about human weakness and strength, but about how an art-form like cricket can interact with a certain character and a certain time. Ishant Sharma is a symbol of an urban India with a raw, suburban potentiality to explode, and thus commands fear, but it never quite detonates, but may very well. Your analysis of his game and the history of his public and critical reception brings that out. Your deliberate repetition of some sentences is very good, too. Try writing a novel on the game, friend.

  • on July 21, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    Great article Jarrod Kimber. It was Ishant's match this. Ofcourse, Rahane, Vijay, Bhuvi, Jadeja and Dhoni contributed, but I think Ishant moved on to the next stage with this match. He has learnt a great deal from Zaheer about setting up batsmen and has absorbed all of it. He works on batsmen's mind and sets them up, similar to what Zak does. And come to think of it, he is just 25 and has a long way to go. And ample time to correct his stats. He always was the "next best thing in Indian cricket" as Steve Waugh rightly said. Congrats Team India.

  • on July 21, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Wonderful article , those sarcastic albeit funny jokes on ishant sharma made for a very good read indeed.

  • p3000g on July 21, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    Ishant does 75 % of his bowling on subcontinental dust bowls which are any fast bowlers graveyard.. Give him wickets like Perth, Barbados , Durban or the one at Lords today, and he will be right up there with Steyn and Johnson

  • mrd1911 on July 21, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Now all he needs to do is improve on 6 fifers in 100 innings, strike rate of 66 and that 37 runs per wicket average.

  • Alexk400 on July 21, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    I went directly to comments first time. Now after i read the article...i could not stop lauging. Lets clone Jarrod Kimber. With all world problems we need more of Jarrod Kimber to see funny side of life and of ishant sharma

  • neo-galactico on July 21, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Ishant bowled well. That said, 4 of those wickets were gifted to him. They were ordinary short balls that could be swayed or played on the ground but for the England batsmen's ineptitude. So credit for him for getting the direction right. The England batsmen should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their egos make them fall for a rather obvious plan. Perhaps Ishant's chirping got under their skin. Kudos to Ishant hope you do it again, after all he's the "spearhead"

  • on July 21, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    great article... loved it

  • Pradhyumn_S on July 21, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    This is simply the BEST article I've ever read on Cricinfo over the last 8 years. As far as Ishant is concerned, barring 2-3 wickets, he was lucky to get the number of wickets he did. The potential is there alright, but the consistency has never been there. Good that he performed at Lord's but it's high time he keeps up his good work or else be dropped for good!

  • on July 21, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    I would say that Ishant should stop playing ODI and T20 cricket. Stick to Tests and the IPL. He'll be a much better bowler that way. He doesn't have the ability to bowl yorkers at the death, and therefore can't really be a good ODI fast bowler. But if he sticks to one format he'll be a fantastic bowler for India.

  • on July 21, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    He needed a kick to understand what was really expected of him. He has all the traits of a quality fast bowler and still wasn't living up to his potential. Cutting him from the ODI team did the trick and may be that made him realize the importance of making sure he achieves what he is destined for. I hope this is just a start and he will achieve a lot more with God's grace.

  • on July 21, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Sharma outbowled poor England in this innings...at Lord's itself would you believe. England don't appear to posess an Ishant Sharma.

  • Nampally on July 21, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    Mr. Kimber, Ishant has not only silenced all the critics but even England at the mecca of Cricket- Lords. What a spell of short pitched bowling on an unpredictable bounce pitch which sent shivers thru' the England batting line up! I remember Oliver Goldsmith's "Fools who came to scoff remained to pray" of The Village preacher. Ishant has made even those who scoffed at him to praise him after today's showing. It was a Master strategy planned by Dhoni & Ishant executed it to perfection. He lulled all the England batsmen into thinking he can be hit. Instead 5 of them perished in a spell of 8 overs. Yes, He traded some runs for wkts. - 8 runs/wkt. to be precise. That is better than being the best "Finisher" as far as wkts. are concerned. England were brought to their knees from 173 for 4 to 223 all out. This is better than giving 198 runs for the 10th wkt. between Root & Anderson in the Trent Bridge Test. Kudos to much Maligned Ishant Sharma. Well done Guy- the joke is on your Critics Now

  • humdrum on July 21, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    There are facts. And stats. And perspective.But a holistic view beats everything.Another classic article which sees everything as they ought to be seen.Good egg.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    ROFL...nice article xD. This line is to complete the minimum cap of 25 characters.

  • RaviNarla on July 21, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    Good article Jarod. I am not surprised at Ishant's performance. The amount of backing he had received from Dhoni and his 55 test experience for sure has an effect on his peformances off late. Agarkar would have wished to play under Dhoni.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Please bring rohit sharma back in the next test. Who knows, maybe he has the same luck as ishant..

  • indianzen on July 21, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Unfortunately unlike other fast bowlers to get wickets on luck, ishant had to do a lot of Hardwork to get every single wicket. Had he been English or south African, he would have been much more recognized than any other...

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Love this article, Thanks Jarrod Kimber. This article will resonate with many Ishant fan's :)

  • ciphernzilch on July 21, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    I have never had any doubt about Ishant Sharma the test bowler. Ishant Sharma the ODI or T20 bowler is rubbish. He probably does not even deserve a place in the reserves. But when it comes to test cricket, I guess he's a far superior bowler. I have had this thought for the last 4-5 years. Dhoni and the Indian selectors do not know how to manage Ishant Sharma.

  • palla.avinash on July 21, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    "Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma." that's best joke i have heard today.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Reminds me of the headline "Bombay Duck sickens Australia" that cricinfo had when Agarkar took 6 wickets against Australia at Adelaide in the 2nd test of 2003-2004 tour.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    "It's always Powerplay time when Ishant Sharma comes in to bowl". Couldn't stop laughing, looking at this truth.But on this very rare occasion, this eternally unlucky bowler made India's luck. Thanks god! and Jarrod this is the most informed article from any, on Ishant. An excellent one.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Loved the article! Well done Ishant! Go India!!

  • rick333 on July 21, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    Aptly put! This summarizes Ishants career! This article may still be relevant when Ishant retires from Interational cricket in bout 4-5 years. His career is a sine wave graph.

  • thebrownie on July 21, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    And Ishant with that performance, has cemented his place for another 10 tests and there is very good chance his average will be in the 50s.

  • ac_Indian on July 21, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    I think a big point to take away is in the last para, that he is 25. Of-course there have been many players/individuals who were either termed as greats or were on their course of becoming one by this age, but in terms of percentages they are few. One doesn't expect Ishant to be called a great by the end of his career, but he gives enough hints to qualify as a very good bowler. Lets hope his age gives him the consistency that he needs, and more importantly what India needs from him. This year alone, in 4 tests he has taken two 6 wkt and one 7 wkt haul. Good signs, but not consistent enough.

  • kpmanicka on July 21, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Mitch Johnson used to be ridiculed the same way before his latest avatar. Had the potential but was never consistent.

    Hoping Ishant does a Mitch and becomes world beater after this.

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on July 21, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    It may have been more to do with the fact that England were looking for an iceberg. Nothing against Ishant - he was luckier than most times in his career that people facing his good bowling took the trouble to find the available fielder. But just like the India side of 2011-12 enhanced many a career, the current England side is also doomed to do so.

  • godshand on July 21, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Superb, satire and humour. Its a sad fact of life that everyone looks only at the rising sun, no one bothers about the setting sun. Ishant wasn't so bad that he had to be ridiculed so much neither is he very brilliant today that he be hailed as Lords' hero.

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 21, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    The problem for Ishant Sharma has always been that he was born in the wrong country. Had he been English, Australian or South African, he would have been a much better bowler and brought up in conditions suiting his height and style of bowling. Not many Indian fast bowlers see the rise to glory considering Kapil Dev is still India's best fast bowler nearly 3 decades since his retirement. So everyone including myself have been harsh to Ishant who was brought up playing for Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla where the ball only bounces up to the knees. So it's not fair to ridicule him by any stretch of the imagination. I am sure he's learning to cope with it all and work harder at his game. I hope he continues to play a bigger role in the remaining tests.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    very well written. he has been bowling well from the south african series with consistency but for some times without much luck on his way.. even in new zealand he bowled well and got wickets but since we could not close the matches he did not get his due and finally the moment have arrived.. well bowled ishant...

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    Stunning article. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  • alwaysahead on July 21, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    This article is a masterpiece. Well done!!

  • Lozkoot on July 21, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    Jarrod - Loved the article!! Exactly how we feel when we see these rare incredible performances between so many dreadful ones or I may say "unlucky" ones. Potential is a powerful aphrodisiac, lol. And you missed out mentioning Champions Trophy final spell.... Short and wides ... but somehow clicked.

  • AjaySridharan on July 21, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    This is one of the most hilarious cricketing articles I've ever read! Classic! I'm happy that Ishant did it with short stuff today. However, I really do hope that he doesn't continue the short stuff much for the rest of the series. Other than the ball to Ali none of the other balls deserved a wicket. They were poor shot selection from the batsmen.

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Ishant's back and spirit was broken on the countless tests played on flat pitches and dustbowls in India. he's always looked good on sporting tracks.

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    "Today the joke was on England".. The last line defined the whole concept of Ishant Sharma in terms of Indian public's eyes...

  • ajeshcricfan on July 21, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    It was one of the hostice bowling spell we could see from an indian bowler.....His bolwing migh have a bit of spice if he is yard quicker....

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    At times I am also a good critic of India but he does deliver on many occasions particulalry in abroad where his bowling suits to the pitches there.

    Dhoni also backs him up on many occasions which is a key to Ishants performance,

    Good luck Ishant to lead India for a Series victory.

  • prufrock on July 21, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Good brave piece. Hope people get the point(s)!

  • rustyryan on July 21, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    After Peter Roebuck, You are the one who writes with more heart than words!!!

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Excellent article..Yes he is the same Ishant who often ridiculed by fans(including me) who won us the match today at Lord's.

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Excellent article..Yes he is the same Ishant who often ridiculed by fans(including me) who won us the match today at Lord's.

  • rustyryan on July 21, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    After Peter Roebuck, You are the one who writes with more heart than words!!!

  • prufrock on July 21, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Good brave piece. Hope people get the point(s)!

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    At times I am also a good critic of India but he does deliver on many occasions particulalry in abroad where his bowling suits to the pitches there.

    Dhoni also backs him up on many occasions which is a key to Ishants performance,

    Good luck Ishant to lead India for a Series victory.

  • ajeshcricfan on July 21, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    It was one of the hostice bowling spell we could see from an indian bowler.....His bolwing migh have a bit of spice if he is yard quicker....

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    "Today the joke was on England".. The last line defined the whole concept of Ishant Sharma in terms of Indian public's eyes...

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Ishant's back and spirit was broken on the countless tests played on flat pitches and dustbowls in India. he's always looked good on sporting tracks.

  • AjaySridharan on July 21, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    This is one of the most hilarious cricketing articles I've ever read! Classic! I'm happy that Ishant did it with short stuff today. However, I really do hope that he doesn't continue the short stuff much for the rest of the series. Other than the ball to Ali none of the other balls deserved a wicket. They were poor shot selection from the batsmen.

  • Lozkoot on July 21, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    Jarrod - Loved the article!! Exactly how we feel when we see these rare incredible performances between so many dreadful ones or I may say "unlucky" ones. Potential is a powerful aphrodisiac, lol. And you missed out mentioning Champions Trophy final spell.... Short and wides ... but somehow clicked.

  • alwaysahead on July 21, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    This article is a masterpiece. Well done!!