Australia in India 2013-14

India's blunt spearhead

Ishant Sharma has been a disappointment in ODIs, proving ineffective with new ball and old for the majority of his six-year career

Abhishek Purohit

October 17, 2013

Comments: 370 | Text size: A | A

Ishant Sharma in his delivery stride, India v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval, June 11, 2013
Ishant Sharma has not developed into the bowler he was expected to become © AFP
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"I love being the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack," Ishant Sharma had said in August. "It is a privilege for any fast bowler." After the first ODI against Australia four days ago, MS Dhoni said: "As he is part of the side for a long time now, he has to improve his death bowling." Dhoni was referring to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but one could be forgiven for thinking the India captain had been demanding more from Ishant, the self-acknowledged "spearhead" of his attack.

Bhuvneshwar has taken 25 wickets in 19 ODIs at an average of 25.76 and an economy rate of 4.15, creditable figures for someone who is primarily a new-ball swing bowler. Dhoni is within his rights to ask for improvement with the old ball from Bhuvneshwar, but it must be kept in mind that he has not completed a year in international cricket, and has been the only India seamer to go for less than run a ball in both ODIs against Australia.

Ishant has been playing international cricket for more than six years. In Pune and Jaipur, he went for eight and almost eight per over for a solitary 50th-over wicket. Given the captain's expectations of an inexperienced Bhuvneshwar, you would think he would be setting much higher standards for Ishant, who should qualify as the leader of the attack by the sheer amount of time he's been around. Ishant, however, is falling short.

"Unlucky Ishant" stopped being an excuse a long time ago. Few bowlers are lucky enough to play 51 Tests, and only the luckiest manage to do so averaging 38. A lot has been said in favour of Ishant the Test bowler: that he shouldn't be judged only by his numbers, that he has this rare tireless determination to keep bowling, that his commitment to training is unmatched by fellow fast bowlers in the team. These arguments, arguable at best, don't apply to limited-overs cricket.

Ten overs is all a fast bowler is required to run in for in an ODI. He is expected, chiefly, to pick up wickets with the new ball and prevent the opposition from scoring big at the death. A spearhead might be reasonably expected to lead by example on both counts. Ishant has not. While bowling during the first 15 overs in 67 ODIs, he averages 45.35 for 28 wickets at an economy rate of 5.33. Neither does he get the wickets of specialist batsmen early, nor is he able to keep them quiet. In contrast, Bhuvneshwar has played his new-ball role superbly so far - taking 22 wickets in 19 innings, an average of 21.90 and economy rate of 3.85 in that period.

In the last ten overs, Ishant's economy rate shoots up to 7.38. His bowling average also drops sharply to 24.22 for 31 wickets, which is more than what he manages with the new ball. This suggests that both Ishant's overall wickets tally and average are inflated by cheap dismissals of batsmen looking to have a slog at the death.

"(It is) important we don't give runs with the two new balls and take wickets," Dhoni said. "It is always good to have bowlers who can bowl well at the death also. Especially the three fast bowlers should be able to bowl at the end." Ishant has seldom delivered on either count. For someone who has bowled as much as he has, in excess of 500 overs, only Elton Chigumbura has a worse economy rate. The Zimbabwean at least has his batting to fall back on.

In Pune, after having gone for 45 in 6.1 overs, Ishant had James Faulkner clobbering a wide delivery straight to extra cover in the last over of Australia's innings. He stared hard at the departing No 8 batsman as if he'd earned the dismissal, and proceeded to serve two length balls, one a slower one. No 10 Clint McKay launched both over midwicket. With the new ball, he'd bowled repeatedly short and wide to Aaron Finch, despite the opener's strength square of the wicket, and had been cut for several fours.

In Jaipur, the 45th over of Australia's innings, which went for 17, was a perfect example of how little control Ishant provided to a captain who has partly built his limited-overs reputation on being able to exercise it. Often criticised for his failure to bowl full, Ishant tried doing so. Three balls were full tosses, two of which went for four. Two were wides down the leg side, and he was also fortunate to concede only a single to deep point off a full and wide one. At times, he kept bowling full despite mid-on and mid-off in the circle, and Dhoni had to run up to him in frustration.

In his fledgling career, Bhuvneshwar concedes 8.46 an over in the last ten overs of an ODI, and Dhoni rightly wants him to improve. But with a "spearhead" who is ineffective with the new ball and with the old, and often shows no awareness as an ODI bowler, who can Bhuvneshwar look up to?

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 22, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

I request espncricinfo to keep this article open for comments till the end of the ODI series. This is one of the reputed cricket sites, where fans can vent their frustration at the incompetence which they so easily see on the field and which the selectors do not. Indian commentators have long stopped criticizing Indian bowling. In fact they gladly comment on air, techniques which the opposition needs to deploy against Indian bowlers! With BCCI imposing strictures on commentators about commenting on selection, the Indian fans are left with no other forum to get their voice heard. One doesn't have to be a F1 driver, to know which drivers are better than others. Likewise, one doesn't have to be a Test cricket player to figure out competence from incompetence!

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 22, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

I will not absolve Dhoni of responsibility. He is entrusted to win the match. If the selectors thrust Ishant Sharma into the team, there's nothing that says that he has to give Ishant overs to bowl at the death. He could have given more overs to Yuvraj and Raina, given the way Jadeja was bowling. Agreed, that the lock on the Aussi innings was opened twice, once by Virat when he gave away 18runs and then by Ishant when he gave away 30 runs. I think, Virat, Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit should be made to practice a lot more bowling in the nets. Even if these 4 can chip in 2 overs each, especially when there's a new batsman in at the fall of a wicket, it will make a great difference to the opposition's total being curtailed.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 22, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

The Indian selectors are simply amazing. I guess they are taking sole responsibility if India loses all the remaining matches and consequently the number 1 title to Austrailia. Should not then the entire selection committee be sacked for incompetence? I don't understand the logic, morality, sanctity or commonsense in sticking to Ishant Sharma. It does not matter what he does in the nets, when he clearly loses his head while bowling the second spell of 5 overs. I was also disappointed with Vinay Kumar. You cannot bowl a short ball giving away a 6, when the opposition has 9 to win off the last over. I also think Dhoni played it incorrectly by giving the last over to Vinay. IMO he should have given more overs to Yuvraj including the last one... That move would have surprised the batsmen. Ashwin was once again a disappointment, bowling badly in his initial overs, when he should have been keeping the batsmen under more pressure like Jadeja.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

I just don't understand why the selectors are still sticking onto Ishant Sharma.. He has the worst ipl figures(60+ runs in 4 overs) and he is the 2nd Indian bowler to give away 30 runs in an over after Yuvraj(however yuvi's case is very rare and he picks up wickets). If we observe, most of his wickets are only catches....very few are genuinely picked up by him. The selectors should give a chance to young bowlers like Jaydev Unadkat and Mohit Sharma..They are inexperienced but if chances are given to them like how Ishant is getting, they will surely prove to be "Spearheads". I hope Zaheer comes back to the Indian Squad. He showed his efficiency in ipl when he took 4 wickets for RCB...Nowadays even Ashwin has lost his game.His ball doesn't turn much and even if it turns, it is predictable. I think we should give a chance to Amit Mishra also.

Posted by BSWadekar on (October 20, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Definition of spearhead is the one who could pick up wickets whenever ball is thrown to him. Spearhead could pick up wickets in helpless conditions. Spearhead is never concerned about him being one, instead, he is concerned about picking up wickets in next match. Have you ever heard Dale Steyn calling himself spearhead? No. But the fact is he is spearhead of the attack of whichever team he represents. India's spearhead in test is Pragyan Ojha. He has been picking wickets, if not then helping others pick some by almost drying runs to maidens. As far as limited overs are concerned nobody seems spearhead. It's just bunch of bowlers who finish the quota. Zak we are missing you. Zaheer was true spearhead. One who could pick up wickets of 1-11 no batsman. in any over of match. With whatever ball red or white, new or old. Zak plz come back somehow. I am missing the over in which he bowls five outswingers and then the one that comes in zipping and hitting bell of the offstump.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (October 20, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

Not only this Sharma, but the other Sharma is a dead-weight too. Players who need to be dropped - Nohit Sharma, Generous Sharma, Pull-less Raina, Domestic Jadeja, Trundler Kumar and may be Yuvraj Singh also. Realise that India is winning in spite of these 6 under-performing players.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 19, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

Agree with arnie66 - @ Middle Stump : Have you not read the article above? His career economy/averagespeaks for themselves...I don't know how he manages to remain in the team. Is it political patronage? Is it favoritism ? When ppl like Zaheer Khan can be chopped for much less, this good-for-nothing keeps leaking 8 runs/over every match. He is nirther a wicket taking bowler nor a run restricting bowler. I admire Dhoni for his leaderrship, level headedness and performance but I don't believe he has not shown good judgement in team selection. His legacy will be tarnished with idiots like Ishant who always deliver sub standard performances ! The real question is who is the selector that keeps selecting Ishant. Maybe that selector should be fired first.

Posted by La_Bangla on (October 19, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

The self proclaimed Spearhead of Indian bowling snached another defeat from the jaws of victory for his team. WHat an outstanding talent Mr. Ishant Sharma is

Posted by dhiru22 on (October 19, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Extremely disappointed by MSD(not talking about his batting) and Ishant Sharma too(I hope everyone is disappointed with Ishant except Dhoni itself).....People always Talk about dhoni's captaincy skill..Really!!!!!!!!what he did today...1-Gave the bowl to ashwin in 29th over for the first time(dont find any logic there) 2-Gave bowling to Virat kohli in crucial moment(NO logic) 3-Ishant proved costly in death overs in past...why did he choose ishant over vinay and others... 5-Post match speech..In which he talked about batting responsibility n all.....It was the bowling MSD 4-Why didn't he tried raina then(In fact Throughout the series and in past too) He is promoting Raina for NO. 4 position to have a BACKUP....Where is the "BACKUP PLAN" for bowlers...why they are not trying 1-Amit Mishra 2-Mohit Sharma and many others...Totally out of understanding...MSD you are excellent in batting but its a wake up call for your captaincy skill !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

If Ishant is so hard worker, use him in net instead of bowling machine. He does not fit to bowl in match. We need bowlers who at least has a head not a bucket of hair instead.

Though India had a smooth transition in case of batsmen, the same is not true in case of bowlers. Rightly, the young bowlers has not one to guide them. Bring back Zaheer for another one year or so. He can at least groom the young bowlers in the team and at the same time he would not bowl worse than likes of Ishant..

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

Whenever I see him bowling, he is either being hit or sledging and staring at the batsmen. If he beats the bat once, he starts thinking himself as Brett Lee or Shoib Akhtar.

Posted by arnie66 on (October 19, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

@ Middle Stump : Have you not read the article above? His career economy/averagespeaks for themselves...I don't know how he manages to remain in the team. Is it political patronage? Is it favoritism ? When ppl like Zaheer Khan can be chopped for much less, this good-for-nothing keeps leaking 8 runs/over every match. He is nirther a wicket taking bowler nor a run restricting bowler. I admire Dhoni for his leaderrship, level headedness and performance but I don't believe he has not shown good judgement in team selection. His legacy will be tarnished with idiots like Ishant who always deliver sub standard performances !

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Ishant has to read this article.He should feel ashamed of himself after today's performance to call himself as Spearhead of Indian Bowling attack.

Posted by hims280599 on (October 19, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

I never doubted ishant when he came on the cricketing scene.being the spearhead,its ok if he doesnt pick wickets,but has to atleast not leak runs.

Posted by avmd on (October 19, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

I think Ishant got carried away the glamour and fame he acquired for just being a tall fast bowler, a rarity in India. Even now, with his very anoyying long hair, he is more interested in stryle than substance. Anyone whom he listen to, should tell him, all the style and galmour he's looking for is only comes with performance. Cut down your hair and work hard on your weakness in nets and in domestic cricket and only then come back to play and perform for India. I'm sure after the 3rd ODI, he will be given a long break from national duty to sort out his issue. He has age behind him, can make a strong come back when ready.

Posted by Rammohan_in on (October 19, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Doesn't India have no other bowler across the country? It is really shame for the team to have an experienced bowler doing such an over? Not even single ball was good enough for even a high-school level match, does not matter the runs given.

He probably now realizing that he is a match winner now someone atleast !!! With his big experience, also with this bowlers data in the recent matches, how the Captain gave the over to such a 'fast' bowler to a team like Australia?

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

Very true.. The statistics proves this and this is well explained in this article... INDIA'S BLUNT SPEARHEAD...

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Having read all the comments with a heavy heart I conclude Ishant should hang his head and cry like his team and the rest of the cricket lovers. His performance is awful and sooner he should be done away from the team better it would be for Indian cricket. Dhoni should learn something here and let Ishant warm a seat even if he is included the team roster. You can't bet the team's performance on a loser.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

What a bowling performance from Ishant sharma in the 48 th over. Never can we forget that over. It changed the full game and even now Dhoni and the selecters will think he is the spear head. A pity.... There are many talented bowlers in India please give them a chance. Also Ashwin was waited till 28th over. The over by Kohli and Ishant spoiled the game. The Kohli over could have been bowled by Ashwin. All planning mistake by MSD. Better luck next time.

Posted by Shan156 on (October 19, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

@MiddleStump, The problem is Ishant has seldom been at his best that no one knows what his best really is. He has been living off that one spell against Ricky Ponting way back in 2007-2008. Yes, he turned the CT2013 finals on its head by dismissing 2 key, well set batsmen in 2 balls but it was more a case of the batsmen throwing it away than due to any great bowling. Look at what Ishant did today. India cruising towards a win and out comes Ishant and leaks 30 runs to Faulkner who averaged 25 before this match and hit as many sixes (4) in one over of Ishant as he has in his last 15 ODIs. I am not an Indian fan but even I am frustrated by Ishant and how he keeps getting chances after so many dismal performances.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

After the 30 run over , ishant is not jus blunt, but insult to a pace bowler for screwing up so badly....

Posted by kdevil3 on (October 19, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

hats of for the writer .i want dhoni & isanth to read it 100 times

Posted by chennaicricfan on (October 19, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Ishant is great fan of ESPNcricinfo and Abhishek Purohit. What a way to prove this article right with a spectacular over in the 3rd ODI to give australia the victory when australia was truly down and out of the match.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

Ishant is one of the LEAST impressive bowlers who is the part of Indian team to put it LIGHTLY!!!!!!

Posted by abyrao on (October 19, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

30 runs conceded by spearhead, well there's no head for sure. Must be axed get back Zaheer we lost the 3rd ODI only and only because of hopeless and hapless Ishant.

Posted by common_man_review on (October 19, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

Agarkar was better than most of these current bowlers and a wicket taker.. even he didnt leak so many runs.. One mistake Dhoni did early in his career as a captain is not backing Agarkar..

Posted by atuljain1969 on (October 19, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

May be Ishant should have a hair cut to have change in his fortunes. His strategy to get Batsmen focussed on his jumping hairs then the ball delivered is not working anymore.

Posted by tick on (October 19, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

Actually,India produced many good fast bowlers and by that i mean bowlers who had talent and skills to be great and best but there is none.why?no confidence and self belief in fast bowlers. because they just don't know how to groom fast bowlers and the captains don't know how to use them in conditions.Its not fault of sharma,its the system that India has for its fast bowlers that's rubbish.

Posted by czzling on (October 19, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

If you want to blame someone, blame the pitches that India is producing. It's easy to criticize Ishant's, Vinay's and Umesh etc for their lack of good outings in Indian pitches. But which fast bowler in India has ever been exceptional? Same in Sri lanka and Bangladesh and recently in West Indies.

We know what Umesh did in Australia and English pitches. Or a Sreesanth in South Africa and an Agarkar in Australia. I would go so far as to blame the pitches for killing the interest in many aspiring fast bowlers including Sreesanth. Sachin, Ganguly , yuvraj etc had the good time while the fast bowlers suffered. Zaheer is a world class bowler who seems ordinary in India. And it's boring to watch batsmen dish out 400 runs in Rajkot and Mohali everytime. Where is the contest between bat and ball?

Posted by NairUSA on (October 19, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

Tall, lanky, flowing mane and attitude! What else do you need from a fast bowler? Right now, India has only one bowler who has these qualities. No International batsman is really concerned about Indian fast bowlers.Since that being the case, why not India have a bowler who at least looks like a menacing fast bowler..

Posted by MiddleStump on (October 19, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

With all due respect, let us first learn to look at facts before picking on Ishant Sharma or anyone else. First off, why are we the only ones mourning the demise of our bowling attack? If anything, it is the Australian attack that was taken to the slaughter house after being thrashed all over the park for 362 runs in just 43 overs for just one wicket. Do we see any articles critical of their bowlers? Bowlers too can have bad games. It is not just Ishant. Vinay Kumar has been even more expensive. Really no bowler has settled down yet in this series. Ishant is clearly not at his best but he is not going to get better by all this one sided criticism. Let us have some objective analysis please.

Posted by jango_moh on (October 19, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

@Inet Surfer, i agree with you.... agarkar though expensive, used to always get wickets, i think its time for ishant to get a break, and for sure vinay kumar as well!!!

Posted by   on (October 19, 2013, 1:40 GMT)

Of all the skills in the game, I strongly believe fast bowling is the most demanding and racking (at least in today's game). You need to possess strong discipline to last long with some consistency. The last to play for India with some decent numbers to show was Zaheer, but only until T20 predominantly started featuring in the yearly calendar. We cannot blame IPL, like many would be inclined to say. IPL has added a lot and everyone need to adapt to the changes. Ishant's problem is that he has failed to adapt to different situations. He is repeatedly doing same things and paying the price. He definitely has the talent and ability, and is still quite young. He needs to listen to his critics and coach. Perhaps I will agree with one person in the forum, that he can start a change by going for a hair cut. He will feel much lighter. We wish him best.

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (October 19, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

placid Indian tracks they all will go for runs. give bhuvi more matches and he will have similar economy in India. worst part about ishant is he has similar economy outside subcontinent as well. we shud import some from SA :)

Posted by RogerC on (October 19, 2013, 0:10 GMT)

In these type of wickets, even Dennis Lillee will not be good. Stop complaining about bowlers and give them supportive pitches.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

I have said it before. Several times I spoke about Ishant's hair. It is affecting his bowling accuracy. It should be 'Cut or Stay Out'

Posted by I_Love_My_India on (October 18, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

I know I am going to bring the wrath of many of you.

But I want that creepy boy Sreeshanth when he bowled against Australia on the T20 Semi of the first T20 world cup.

Posted by Rahulbose on (October 18, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

Ishant was good early in his career. Playing too much limited over games has ruined his bowling. His bowling style is not suited for limited overs and keeping run rates down, but by focusing on those formats he has lost the quality even in tests. Another talented player destroyed by T20.

Posted by kahvas on (October 18, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

Problem is that Dhoni has a soft corner for Ishant and Jadeja. While Jadeja is almost useless as a batsman, he is bowling well. So as long as Jadeja can be treated as a bowler, and as long as he can bowl like a frontline bowler he can be tolerated. Ishant should be kicked to the curb right away.

Posted by Shan156 on (October 18, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

The fact that Ishant continues to play for India and yet they remain #1 in ODIs and #3 in tests only shows how good the rest of the team is. I cannot think of any fast bowler who played 51 tests and averaged 38, no not even in the worst England sides of the 80s and 90s.

Posted by mannan_ma on (October 18, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Ishant sharma basicaly needs to do just two things to help improve his bowling.First he needs to take the burden off from his head.he is depriving his brain the energy that is being used by his hair.the hair also prevents him from seeing. how can his brain process the info that he cannot see.you know what i mean, right. so ,he needs a hair cut.may be mr. srinivasan can help here. secondly ishant must understand that he is playing cricket and that there is this guy called batsman who is waiting for him to hurl that cherry.but wait. what batsman am i talking about. ishant does not see him, right, remember long hair.oh! you see there is just one thing he should do. cut his hair so that he can see. thats all.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Seeing Ishant , Umesh, Nehra, Vinay and Munaf bowl in ODIs, I need to ask sorry for all the bad words I used towards Agarkar during the 2000s.

We were more or less used to blaming Agarkar for expensive overs where as he would have give hardly 5-6 rpo in a high scoring match.

But Ajit used to pick early wickets and was Azhar's goto guy for opening wickets and partnership breaking!

Kudos to Agarkar we never utilized his nip and accuracy and that rocket arm from deep and the great outfield catching!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

Bring Back Irfan Pathan, Mohit Sharma, Praveen Kumar, please these bowlers are really capable. It doesn't matter that if jadeja is in as a all rounder, you need irfan pathan back to the team, he really swings the ball well. Give them chance please, they are classic bowlers.

Posted by hayer on (October 18, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

I know Ishant is not using his brain while bowling. But I like George Bailey's comment "Don't know what motivate bowlers while bowling on such pitches." BCCI is only interested to prepare run feasts to gather crowd and make money. But how can we give confidence to our bowlers while playing them on pitches like airport runways.

Everyone asking when we will be able to produce a world class fast bowler. My answer is "never". Because we are not giving them confidence they need at domestic level and in their early international career. At least they can send their young crop to play country cricket so that they can gain some confidence. But our priority is to play IPL.

Posted by arnie66 on (October 18, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

Nice article. I like how the writer has buttressed his statements with lots of facts. How Ishant continues in the side should be up there with all the unsolved mysteries of the world ! With his economy rate and average, he should not even be in the state side. He bowled 2 bad balls that resulted in wickets from poor shots in the Champions trophy final (He was getting slogged till that piece of luck happened )- Rather than thanking his stars, he boasted about his bowling in the presentation interview. Self appointed India's spearhead is right ! Does Ishant live in La-La land to think that with his current economy/average, he is the spearhead ( especially when Bhuvi has been doing such a good job) ? I implore Sandeep Patil and the selectors to bring back Zaheer Khan or Ishwar Pandey or Unadkat or Mohit. If none of them are available, I can teach my 8 yr old daughter some cricket and she'll probably bowl better than Ishant in the remaining one dayers !

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

All I want to ask is when has India last produced a genuine wicket taking bowler? A bowler that opposition batsmen would fear; a bowler who can turn things around in a matter of a few deliveries and do it consistently. The answer is "NEVER". While, we must encourage and extol the exploits of Bhuwaneshwar Kumar, one must remember that he is still a newbie and won't be long before batsmen figure him out. I hope he is able to add more tricks to his armory. Also, it would be useful for him to add some muscle mass to his frame and same goes for Unadkat. Why do we have these emaciated under-nourished fast bowlers? Coming back to Ishant, please don't drop the guillotine on his head. Come to think of it, almost all Indian bowlers have performed poorly and much of that can be attributed to the poor quality of pitches which are designed to encourage run feasts and de-moralize fast bowlers. The day is not far when bowling machines would replace bowlers.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

As someone pointed out, fast bowlers in India burn out way too quickly because of the sheer amount they play. In Australia I believe there is a rule restricting how many overs a pacer may bowl during a week. In India there is no such rule and the pacers end up bowling way too much. When Ishant burst into the scene he had pace and an ability to extract extra bounce from the wicket. Now he has lost much of the pace and his length and line is erratic. As the writer points out, a lot of his success comes from batsman looking to slog in the death overs. Indeed I remember the recent Champions Trophy final where Ishant got two crucial wickets in the end overs that turned the match on its head, on two less-than-ordinary deliveries! Also he is a terrible fielder, it does not even look to me that he tries in the field.

I honestly don't get why he should keep getting chances when people like Mohit and Unadkat are sitting out. Unlike Rohit, there's no stage where Ishant is super-impressive.

Posted by BSWadekar on (October 18, 2013, 16:03 GMT)

Where is Ashish Nehra???? He is the one who can be called as the spearhead undoubtedly

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

It is very difficult to understand why Dhoni & Co. keep on persisting with a useless so-called fast bowler, who has no swing, no length, no accuracy. He is one who just keeps banging the ball short and keep on hoping someone will not middle his stroke and will be caught in the deep. Has anyone ever analysed how many batsmen this gentleman has clean bowled. One can understand Dhoni. He has a typical Bhaiyya mentality. If he loves someone, he does it fully, but why has Sandeep Patil not kicked out this "spearhead" who cannot even be used to sweep the ground?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Can anyone tell me how much protein a massalldhosa has compared to meatchop? Where 95% of Indian population live on a complete starch food , how can you expect Indians have muscle-power to compete wit the others outside India.Land of sadhubabas,vegi fundamentalist, lethergic lot and our beloved Mahatma peace ..shanti and no muscle sport India shine...thnx God no other land play Kabadi where we are good at.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

Compare this a genuine wicket taking bowler like Umesh yadav was droppeb because of poor performance in domestic cricket!!

Posted by SensibleCricket on (October 18, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

I have never been a Fan of Ishant. As this article points out, he has neither been a good bowler at the beginning or then end of the innings....just the fact that he works hard is not enough to get him a spot in the team. Our Indian fast bowling woes will continue till we go to grass-root levels, beyond "zonal politics" and look for raw talent. Then hand that talent over to masters like Kapil Dev to train them. Get them to play cricket continuously...think outside the box...Only then will we 'produce' good bowlers. There is already a lot of raw talent coming to light due to the 'league' matches, incl IPL. We need to nurture them, than try relying on old options which have time and again failed us.

Posted by devil_in_details on (October 18, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Nice article and going by the large number of comments received has touched a raw nerve of Indian fans :) Having said that it only restates problems which are obvious to any Indian fan who has followed Indian cricket even for a short period of time. We are cursing Ishant now, before that was Agarkar and his mostly useless bowling and even before that Venkatesh Prasad and Debashish Mohanti et al whose bowling made you weep. The main issue is not Ishant , it is that we as a cricketing nation have failed to nurture and care for pace bowlers and give them the same respect as we give to the batsmen. While young batsmen have Sachin, Dravid and countless others to look up to, where are the role models for aspiring bowlers? Who takes care of fitness of a young Varun Aaron when he is injured? How can a pancake like flat Jaipur pitch be called a 'good' pitch? On top of that- the rubbish two new ball rule and the death fielding restrictions-Why dont we fight those rules instead of obstructing DRS

Posted by aahahaa on (October 18, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

These young bowlers need someone to guide them and if he isn't available locally look elsewhere. Meanwhile think of improving the pitches to help the faster bowlers especially in domestic cricket.

Posted by bhushanB on (October 18, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

So when did Dhoni say this "bhuvi needs to improve on his death bowling"... Did any of the reporters that were present at that time ask him this question - "what about Ishant".... straight in the face...

Posted by hunksurat on (October 18, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

Great and bold article Purohit. I absolutely agree is Ishant is well passed his expiry date. I am not sure why he has dropped pace. Without it he is a toothless shark..useless. He has no sense of discipline to maintain consistent line and length. He absolutely does not use his brain in death overs and keep bowling length deliveries. I am not sure if Dhoni will be able to list one good quality in Ishant to say that he deserves his place. Another pressing issue is a quality spinner. Ashwin tries to be cute in turn ends up making mockery of himself. We need either mishra or Bhajji. I like bhajji in ODI because he tend to keep the runs down. He has to however discover his ability to take wickets. I the context of current series Mishra should suffice. But Dhoni is not so bold and very adamant. Every one is going to be disappointed to see the same team for 3rd ODI

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

First of all "FANTASTIC ARTICLE". In depth analysis on the Bowling Figures of this so called "SPEAR HEAD". He is one of the worst bowlers India have ever produced. Living on the glory of one spell against Ricky Ponting. Irfan Pathan will do nothing worse than this fellow in ODIs. Atleast he can throw his bat. Sack this SPEARHEAD and give chance to other players.

Posted by bhushanB on (October 18, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

My problem is not with Ishant... well if that is all the best we have, then so be it... .but why put un-due pressure on someone like Bhuvi.. who has been performing wonderfully at least at the beginning and getting vital wickets..... You want him to concentrate on dealth bowling and meanwhile lose his magic with the new ball.......... just like how everyone forced Irfan to be an alrounder...

Leave him alone.... from what I've seen Bhuvi is wonderful with the new ball and let him be what he is.. and he will definitely learn the other craft.

Posted by bhushanB on (October 18, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Finally, an article asking questions about Dhoni's unconditional support for a select few and unreasonable expectations from the no-so-faved ones.

Posted by prasanna_79 on (October 18, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

I hv mentioned several times in my comments that both vinay kumar & ishant sharma don't deserve their places in their playing eleven & not even in the 15.. The reasons are there for all to see..,they are consistently inconsistent..,leak runs even more than part-timers tend to do..,bowl at the ideal pace for slogging..,dont bowl yorkers well( in-fact bowl plenty of fulltosses )..have very poor strike rates & high economy rates..etc.., Its high time the selectors drop these two & give chances to promising bowlers like rahul shukla,pawan suyal,abu nechim or atleast try out allrounders like abhishek nayar,rishi dhawan etc., Dear selectors..,so far you have done a tremendous job in gradually removing the under-performers & if you go by the same principle then clearly these two dont deserve their places..!!

Posted by Nampally on (October 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

The selection of any player in the XI must be based on Form, Fitness & performance. This applies to all batsmen & bowlers. However the fast bowler selection has been one area where this rule was violated, repeatedly. The selection of Ishant Sharma is one example. There is no other bowler who had as many chances despite arguably the worst economy rate for any bowler & very few wickets to justify his spot in the XI. Even amongst fast bowlers a comparison between Ishant & B.Kumar is like that between chalk & Cheese. Fast bowlers operate in pairs but it looks so unfair for B.Kumar to operate as a solo!. It is high time for the Indian Selectors to recognize this fact & bring in one of at least 6 better alternative pace bowlers. Some comments in this column have blamed the unresponsive pitches. But B.Kumar has operated on the very same pitches with excellent results. While batting has been handled well, the same detailed attention is lacking in selection of bowlers- Fast or Slow!

Posted by mars2009 on (October 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

Only solution of is that by all the CASH POWER BCCI is enjoying, make ban on fast bowling. No fast bowler, no problem. In last 81 years of international cricket , India failed to produce single world class fast bowler. How come they would produce in future. Another option would be give nationalities to raw fast bowlers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and even Afghanistan.

Posted by Selassie-I on (October 18, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

Dhoni's mates club again? I've seen him bowl some decent spells, but never has he been consistent. In fact, I've never seen him actually worka batsman out, from the sound of it he's incapable of bowling to a plan too.

Time to give someone else a go then, whatever happened to that Yadav chap? He looked good. Right time to do it when you're plaing a team like Aus are at the moment.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

It is surprising that Dhoni has to ask his bowlers to bowl better at the death, what is the Role of the Bowling Coach in the team if he is not able to guide these bowlers well he should be replaced by better coach. Dhoni does have an option of Amit Mishra but is seldom given the opportunity !

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

I think he has not done anything wrong he has the per match average of wicket taking around 1.439 Wickets per match which is better than the Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and even Anil Kumble...

Posted by nikbaroda on (October 18, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Ishant have been terrible bowler since a long time. even new in experienced batsment and tailianders thrash him all over the ground. i dont know why he is in the team where we got lots of raw and faboulous talent waiting for emerge. pakistan in this situation is best as they dont worry experience they throw a bowler in the intl arena and most of them get it right. as they are raw and hungry for success . i cant digest that india cannot produce good seam bowling attack. bkumar is doing great and i wish all the success to him. but ISHANT SHOULD BE OUT OF THE TEAM. he is liucky in test match he does not get thrashed. he reminds of another terrible mistake ASHISH NEHRA.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

Finally....an article to describe the impotency of Ishant Sharma, despite being a part of international cricket for 6 years this bowler didn't seems to have learned a lesson, even the new guys like Bhuvnesh, Umesh are now ahead of him, seriously he needs to be dropped from International Cricket asap and should focus on FC cricket for 1-2 years only, until he shows any signs of improvement..don't even select for A games, even a new unproven bowler will do better than him any day on the field.

Posted by android_user on (October 18, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Zak is back

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

Yes but at least you don't have Jade Dernbach.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a fantastic bowler! I'm really looking forward to watching him grow and progress. Ishant Sharma, on the other hand, really should be given an ultimatum. He has been praised as a great bowler but I've never seen any evidence of this in any of the matches I've watched him play.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

Someone close to Ishant should advise him to clip his mane short. This will give him a clear and complete view of the wicket and the batsmen when bowling. With all the sophisticated electronic gadgetry used in televising cricket has anyone (for that matter has Ishant himself) ever noticed that at the time of releasing the ball his face is fully covered with long hair. Despite this, it is a miracle of sorts that he can deliver the ball to the other end of the wicket. If he is as hardworking and committed to achieving cricketing excellence what else could be stopping him from doing so. Can somebody help me (and Ishant) unravel this mystery?

Posted by TRAM on (October 18, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Chris_P & @Akhil Argal, The problem you describe Ishant is facing (flat India tracks) is true for ALL India pace bowlers. The question is how Ishant fares compared to *other Indian bowlers* in the same conditions. This article is just about Ishant among Indian bowlers ONLY. When did / how many times Ishant led the wkts column *among Indian pace bowlers* ? And secondly, Ishant DID tour to other countries with pace & bounce tracks. Only once in Aus he *troubled* a select few batsmen. (Because it happened to be the star Ponting, Ishant got the fame). Whereas Sreesanth ripped SA in SA when the conditions suited him. UYadav did take initial wkts in some matches in Indian pitches. BKumar is currently the only bowler in India who is taking early wkts. I cant recall Ishant taking any of top 5 wickets. UYadav & BKumar and other prospective young bowlers ( MSharma, AAron, etc) need to be nurtured.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

india should replace vinay and ishant for upcoming odi and back in zaheer and umesh yadav pace bowling attack . even though irfan and r.p singh who recoved from injury and they can be take a chance for upcoming tour matches. for upcoming west indies test series R.Dhawan may get a debut ..

Posted by chotteguru on (October 18, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Mr Int curator please understand no team has been great without excellent bowlers, no matter how good the batsmen are.The present Indian team's achillies heel in all formats of the game is its bowling. Why not get the best bowling coach money can buy who will then infuse consistency, discipline and intelligence into what the bowlers do. I do not believe talent is the issue, just proper training and application. Does the Indian team have a bowling coach of international repute?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

its a treat to watch kohli batting i love to seee kohli n dhawans batting here in pak im a big fan of virat kohli best of luck to team india for rest of the series from a paki fun

Posted by Johnny_129 on (October 18, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

Pace bowlers more deserving than Ishant include, Umesh Yadav, Aaron (when fit), Pandey, Praveen Kumar, Unadkat, Mohit Sharma, Irfan and perhaps a few others not mentioned. Zak is also a better choice but I feel Zak's selection would be more backward looking. I am based on Aus right now and I remember Praveen Kumar bowled tremendously well when India won the tri-nations here PK found himself on the outer after injuries and without doing too much wrong - PK has the best bowling figures of all Indian pace bowlers - past or present! Dhoni is a great leader but if there is one place to fault him, it is team selection - I feel PK was made the scapegoat after all those test losses in a row - those were PK first few test and even then he was the best of the Indian pacies. Bring back PK with next WC in mind and give Ishant a break and some thinking time?!

Posted by PratikG8 on (October 18, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

i think our selctor choose Ishant and Vinay on their IPL performance, but they have to think that both bowlers did well in IPL in the shadow of the other best overseas bowler like Dale Steyn, they dont know how to bowl at the start, they dont have any kind of wicket deliveries, and not having pace. I think Indian cricket really need good pacers, for Indian cricket future we need built real pacers, their few players like Umesh Yadav, Varun Aron, Rahul Shukla are available selectors need to think about them.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

Ishant sharma is irritating sharma. Ms is always favour to ishant. That is the only advantage to him to stay in the team. I think zaheer is the better option to lead the attack till World Cup.

Posted by champion_india786 on (October 18, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

I never considered Ishant as the leader of the pack anyway. Bhuvneshwar has produced excellent results and hence, he is the bowler that Dhoni looks to for wickets and economical overs. Ishant is a good bowler no doubt, but just like Sehwag and Gambhir, Ishant needs to be dropped so that he can take a break and regain his rhythm. Shami, Unadkat, Umesh, Irfan, Aaron and Zak need to be groomed and used on a rotational basis. This will prevent injuries and also allow Dhoni to see which bowlers suit his captaincy. As far as Ashwin is concened, he will get back into form soon, he's just played too much cricket and needs a break.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (October 18, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

When Ishant first came onto the scene he was hungry, looked promising and excited us all. But with fame and fortune coming his way, he quickly became lackadaisical! Nowadays, he relies on talking himself up in the media and providing hope by mentioning 'adjustments and hard work'. Ishant has conned the Indian fans, selectors and team-mates BIG TIME. I have no doubt that Ishant has it in him to come good because the talent is definitely there - the will to perform for his country and succeed will only be seen AFTER HE GETS DROPPED from the team. Selectors need to act quickly and give him 'recovery time/ thinking time/ lesson time/ practice time - Call it what you will. Bring back Praveen Kumar any day - he has the best bowling stats of all Indian pace bowlers, home and away!!

Posted by Int.Curator on (October 18, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Indian Architecture!

It would make sense for Indian cricket to drop fast bowlers like Ishant Sharma all together and replace with batsmen.

Based on Indian design the constant and continued practice of preparing flat pitches is apparently here to stay, especially for any international games.

Its not the bowlers fault that the art of express pace bowling is being engineered out of Indian cricket.

Posted by MianMoosa on (October 18, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

ishant is playing from 6 years & still he dont know how to bowl,,,,his bowling action is not good for death bowling...looking at india batting strength i think they should play with 5 specialist bowlers by dropping either raina or jadeja,,,3 seamers should be vinay, yadav & bhuwneshwur & 2 spinners ashwin & mishra

Posted by m_scorpio on (October 18, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

@AVRAJAN .. I must say Mishra is clearly in great form and he is a very good bowler..But 75% of Raina?? That's a bit too much, eh?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Is he seriously Blunt? He may seem like that sometimes but his overall statistics in 2013 tells otherwise. If we consider bowlers who have played 5 or more matches in 2013. He is the Second Highest Wicket-taker (30 in 19 Matches) after Jadeja (37 in 24 Matches). He has the third Highest Strike-Rate (30.2 in 2 Matches) after A Mishra (15.8 in 5 Matches) and J Unadkat (30 in 5 Matches). He has Fifth highest Average (28.4 in 19 Matches) after A.Mishra (11.61 in 5 Matches), J Unadkat (17.37 in 5 Matches), Jadeja (21.12 in 24 Matches) and B Kumar (26.82 in 18 Matches). But yes, he has the next to worst Economy (5.62 in 19 Matches) after V Kumar (6 in 6 matches). Otherwise his record is pretty commendable and he has a knack (luck?) of picking up wickets at crucial time. (remember Champions Trophy final?).

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

Dhoni is also responsible for some bad habits being set when it comes to team selection. He never brings about any change in the side going into the next match, if the side has won the previous match. He doesn't change the side, even if a player has been a STAND-OUT poor performer and harm's the team with his performance. Going by Dhoni's track record, Ishant's place in the Indian side is secure in this series at least, as long as the team keeps winning. No amount of ranting here or a sub-standard performance by Ishant is going to see Ishant dropped! On a different note, India's sub standard and indifferent bowling attitude cost us the humiliating defeats in Tests in England during the last series, but the person who almost lost his job for that bad performance was DHONI. Dhoni should be bold and courageous to take the right calls and choices while picking the 11 for INDIA!

Posted by bbnn on (October 18, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

Why you people having too much hatred towards Raina, He is the only Indian player score centuries in all three formats for me he is a valuable player in Indian lineup , the international media tried to make him as not a test match material by overhyping short ball issue , which batsman is comfortable with good shortballs ? Check the youtube video of Jack Kallis face shreeshanth's snorter in SA test

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

Unadkat is a good idea, but what happened to Umesh Yadav ? We need a genuine quick who can rattle batsmen ! Zaheer is making yet another come back, but will he last ?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

It just baffles all that I speak to. Why have him in the team? For somebody of Dhoni's intelligence the reason could be only unthinkable. Points to ponder.

Posted by Belludi on (October 18, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

We really need to replace ishant sharma and ravichandran ashwin and bring in Amit mishra and jaidev unadkat/mohd shami/umesh yadav for the next match.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

Eureka! Look at the photo of Ishant that come with this write-up. His hair covers his face completely after he bowls! No wonder he doesn't know where he is bowling! If we and the batsman can't see his face, then how the heck is he going to see the batsman and the stumps?

Posted by AVRAJAN on (October 18, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

I think it is time to give chance to Mishra. Raina must be replaced with Mishra as he can also bat and get at least 20 runs which Raina scores now. He is also a good fielder to match 75% of Raina's fielding ability. If Mishra is replaced for Raina, then Indian team will become invincible in some years to come.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

When one doesn't have discipline to put in the preparedness and practice, then one resorts to superstition... or absurd behaviour and habits under the name of superstition. These are nothing but SELF-LIMITING FEARS.

There are some who grow long hair, some who wear a neck amulet that chokes, some wear a gold chain that needs to be adjusted before and after bowling, some wear loose shirts, so the shirt at the shoulder blade needs to be adjusted before and after the act of bowling. Really, this is so childlike! Can't sportsmen come properly dressed to play? Doesn't their profession deserve at least that much respect? Why can't the captain / coach / selectors demand this? Who are they afraid of?

Posted by ROXSPORT on (October 18, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

I have said it before and I will say it again. Ishant is a good for nothing, over hyped, over valued bowler. Mohd Shami will perform better, as he has shown in the limited opportunities he has got. Even Jaydev Unadkat will perform better than Ishant, besides providing some variety to the attack. Otherwise, we will see a repeat in the next match. Ishant doling out half trackers wide of off stump and Finch slashing them to the boundary between third-man and cover point

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

Get a new bowling coach for india from sub-continent country, maybe like chaminda vaas ; this guy known for his line, length and variations which our bowlers lack.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

In the earlier eras, the captain was considered supreme. He set the field and the bowlers were expected to bowl to the field! That's the way it should be! When India introduced the idea of pampering egos under Ganguly, by appointing fielding-captains and bowling-captains, the captain's say got under-mined. Ultimately, PERFORMANCE and EXCELLENCE come from DISCIPLINE and that comes from PRACTICE, FITNESS and ATTITUDE. The Indian bowlers under Ganguly, conveyed the impression that there only JOB was to bowl and not be responsible for batting. That reached such a bad stage that Srinath had to be sent last man in the WIndies! A poor attitude by even a single player can spoil the team synergy and unity of purpose. FIELDING is a great equaliser. Why are bowlers made to run all around the field while the batsmen stand at close-ins? If a bowler is a poor fielder, just DROP him as you MUST drop a batsman. That will emphasise TEAM PERFORMANCE and the NEED to excel and win!

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (October 18, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

Frankly, Ishant doesn't know who he is bowling at, where he is pitching the ball and then where he is hit. Why? Because he simply cannot see. The first step for his rehabilitation is to have him shave his hair all else will automatically happen.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

While there is a drop in bowling standards our bowlers, I cannot fathom why they are reluctant to collect the ball behind the stumps when a throw-in happens, to effect a run-out? The present generation of Indian bowlers are so scared of doing this and why is that, especially when the modern technique involves the ball being thrown into the ground on one bounce towards the stump! In the earlier years, the fielders would throw full-toss at the stumps and the bowlers would be expected to hold on to the ball and effect run-outs. Nothing has changed in playing conditions. It's time somebody works on the attitude of these bowlers. I think, this "bowling-captain" concept ( where the bowlers seek their own counsel) and the freedom to set their own field has gone to the head of the Indian bowlers!

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 18, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

The pity is nothing is done about it by BCCI to cultivate more pace bowlers..How many we have seen bursting into the scene wiht pace and only to wane away!! RP Singh, Munaf created some ripple but where are they now. PK brought in some new variety he too is out, Irfan is still confused allrounder now injured, we have tried and tested Umesh, P Awana but none have stood out although Mohit is still new to the scene he is not raw pace! Why balme only Ishant. He is trading in a 'no competition' zone so he is never going to work hard and learn! Who dares drop him for there is none seen in the bench that can come in and pick wickets at will. Even Agarkar has retired!!! LOL

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

When a 'star' cricketer drops on performance and quality, then one must drop him IMMEDIATELY, so that the right message is sent all across - to the star, to other players, to prospective players, and to the fans that cricket in India is run on MERIT and not some RESERVATION QUOTA. There is no place for egos in the dressing room. When such a hard-assed approach is taken by the selectors, then it will definitely bring out the best in all, including the 'STAR'. The case of Yuvraj is a typical example. He has become a better player and a lot more focused and hungry than he was when he was dropped. Selectors must remember that they are selecting for INDIA, so they need to be clinical and professional and there is no reason to go soft and play favorite.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

Disappointing Ishant No need to give him chances now....

Posted by Rajnish_aggarwal on (October 18, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

Ishant has good pace but where is he bowling . He is bowling short out side the off stump which going slightly away. The ball can always be sent to boundary.When he came to the international stage, he bowled out Ricky Pontings of the day with his in cutters. He has to improve immediately. I am surprised that there is no body to correct his bowling. BCCI is a very rich organisation. It should engage some body to guide and coach Indian Fast bowlers. I suggest few tips.1) He must keep the ball up at good length and bowl straight. 2) He must train hard to bowl in swinging yorkers ( not full tosses). He must bowl at least one bouncer per over which should be targeted to hit the chest of the batsman. 4) His natural ball is in cutter so he must bowl just 1 or 2 outgoing balls per over. 5) His slower ones are very much predictable so he should not gift that ball. 6) when confused, he must do simple bowling instead of trying to do so many variations.7) His speed should between 135 to 148 kmp.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

Over rated bowler. I dont know on what basis is this guy playing for India. Forget about swing and proper line and length but even with this height he cannot generate 135+ speed. He is given more chances. Where is Aaron & Umesh Yadav?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

It's all about how you coach the pacers. Simple. Get the right people to teach the right things and you have the bowlers you want. India is such a large population, over a 5-10 year period with the right pace coaches in place, the results would be different.

But no good knocking if there is no one at home

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (October 18, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

People are going on banging about lack of pace-friendly tracks as the reason for lack of good pace bowlers in India. Step back and think. When do you develop better batsmen - when you have batsmen friendly practice pitches or batsmen unfriendly practice pitches? Think about it. The tougher the conditions are against any particular aspect of cricket, the more you tend to develop as a player. If Dravid or Statchin kept practicing on batsmen friendly wickets would they develop into better batsmen? The same applies to pace bowlers too. The more unfriendly the pitches are for pace bowlers, the more they will develop. If you feed pace friendly tracks to pace bowlers, the inferior pace bowlers will misleadingly look unplayable and they will never develop their skills. Simple as that! Bowlers or Batsmen will not develop excellent skills if you spoon-feed them the conditions that help them. So, this talk of "we need pace friendly wickets to develop fast bowlers" is absurd and fallacious.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

I'm particularly impressed with the English bowling attack. Why? Because their pacemen have line and length discipline and many of them can swing the ball, both-ways.. and they do it across the world on all wickets! When it comes to spin, both Swann and Panesar are good and know their craft. Their hunger and persistence to take wickets show in their eyes. That hunger and attacking mentality is what one needs to see in our bowlers and not glares or obscenely wiggling one's bottom when one gets the odd wicket. The true measure of a good bowler is determined by the number of times he takes 5 wickets in an innings. Can the Indian bowling even be counted on taking 20 wickets in a Test match without giving 750 runs against any of the top-5 Test teams? Those are the bench marking standards one need to adopt. If one is clear about the destination/goal then the search for talent would be focused and when that happens, the talent will be found!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

Dear Ishant, Its high time you need to have an haircut......Its not funny guys... If you closely llok at his delivery stride he is clueless.... That sums it all.

Posted by himanshu.team on (October 18, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

First and foremost, here is one rare article which has all its readers united in their opinion. Apparently no one thinks Ishant is good in ODIs, and I too belong to the same group. Frankly speaking, I don't see him deserve a place in test side even for either SA, Australia, England, WI or Pakistan. India have better options. While Yadav was in the side, he proved himself to be better than Ishant. Bhuvi is clearly head and shoulders above him, though he himself needs to improve. Unadkat is a better prospect. plus young names like Mohit Sharma, Rahul Shukla can also be given an opportunity rather than persuing with Ishant. It is good to give a long rope to a talented guy like Rohit Sharma, but Ishant clearly does not deserve that luxory.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

To get the right answers, one must be first bold to ask the right questions. Where is the ATTACK in the Indian bowling attack? The only person the batsmen are watchful is Bhuvi, because he seems to have a very good swing when the ball is new. With BCCI's money, they should be able to a "fast bowler hunt" across the cities and towns, by holding camps. The fast bowlers who won the ODI WC recently were Zaheer, Munaf and Nehra. We need to get new talent. Historically, the average batsmen have been far smarter than the average bowler, which is the reason the bat has dominated the ball. When you do find a 'thinking bowler', then you will find him taking loads of wickets because he can constantly outguess and outwit the batsman. For the record, that DOESN'T mean : Bowling outside the leg stump to get a stumping, antics such as pause-bowl, an off-spinner bowling round the wicket, or having 'variations' every ball of the over.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 18, 2013, 8:30 GMT)

Being tall gives bowlers advantages - not Ishant. He loses his length easily and is just not accurate. The only true quality he possesses is his lion heart - keeps trying and has the stamina for long games. Many bowling coaches often refer to his poor wrist position - they correct him and he goes back to bad. India lost a real potential in Sreesanth. Truth is that Ishant needs to go back to domestic scene and correct his problems.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

Ishant is better bet for TEST than ODI/T20. It is useless to use him in limited over cricket. The guy is not listening to any body and that is the main problem.

What about Vinay Kumar??? He looks modern version of Madan Lal. But Madan had immaculate accuracy and even better pace than this current Vinay Kumar. It's clueless for me why selectors show hesitancy to use better weapons we have now. Every Indian player is care about own fitness except Vinay. He should never be selected in any team on the basis of fitness.

Posted by MJ1234 on (October 18, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Ishant is lucky to be in the Indian ODI team. Had we lost the Champions Trophy final to England, he would have been shown the door. Morgan and Bopara fell victim to poor shot selection when they were in the middle of swatting his deliveries away for sixes and fours. And the rest is history.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

Guys, lets face the fact we do not have quality fast bowlers. Last time I enjoyed watching Indian attack was when varun aaron and umesh yadav bowled together against England and Windies.

I doubt we have any talented bowler who can clock 145+ kmph

Posted by PerfectTen on (October 18, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

Kudos to Abhishek Purohit for a bold writeup. Ishant has been a liability for most of his 6 years in international cricket. If similar opportunities are given to even Ashok Dinda, another mindless bowler, he will do better. This clearly shows that for longevity all you need is good connections & not consistent performance in India. Agree with some comments about Sandeep Patil being someone with spine, unlike Krish Srikanth who was happy serving his Chennai masters during his times. Hope to see Ishant making way for more deserving fast bowlers sooner than later.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

The Indian spinners have been kept on a pedestal. I've seen Bedi for instance being decimated by top quality batsmen such as Clive Lloyd, Zaheer Abbas, Miandad, etc. IMO, Pakistan has consistently created a talent pool of not only fast bowlers but even spinners. They've always had 2 excellent spinners in their side at any point in time all through the last 4 decades. Their spinners are not only talented, they take wickets, put pressure on the batsmen, and are very economical. Their spinners are consistent and I've seldom seen them being taken to the cleaners - at least not as much as the Indian spinners. People now speak of Amit Mishra, but where is his mental strength. One can never forget the fear in his eyes when the WIndies belted him out of the park during the tour to the Windies. Ashwin is afraid to bowl is stock delivery. Bhajji refused to bowl the last over in the 2007 WC T20 finals even though the team's alternative was Joginder Sharma. A bowler who is afraid, is not worth it!

Posted by lovemadan on (October 18, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

like to express , we have lot of pace men jaidev udkant , RP singh , Praveenkumar,Irfan pathan , Bhuvaneswar kumar , Ishanth sharma, Munaf patel ,zaheer khan , vinay kumar,vrv singh, sreeshanth , md shammi , ashok dinda, ashish nehra , laxipathy balaji , umesh yadav , varun aaron , jogindher sharma , abhimanyu mithun , has been tried so far , we have some youth fast bowlers , ishwar pandey dhawal kulkarni , mohit sharma ,praveen awana , DHONI let us try these fast bowlers and few more then plan for 2015 world cup . Wish you better fast bowlers DHONI .

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (October 18, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Is Varun Aaron still out there??

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

what happened to the original Meerat express - Praveen Kumar?

Posted by India2014 on (October 18, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Bring back Zaheer Khan. We can also consider Praveen kumar, Unadkat, Shami Ahmed, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav all are better bowlers than Ishant Sharma. For the six years of his career, he hasn't develop his ability. Please replace him, atleast for the next match.

Posted by jaffers1 on (October 18, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Since he do not have much pace he is not able to use a gift given to him as Height. Look what Mohammed Irfan is doing. Much taller then him but consistently doing 145+Kph and hence able to extract real bounce because of his height. Cheers, Fan from Pakistan.

Posted by Rohit... on (October 18, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

To all those who are crying about being wicketless - Now do you understand the value of AJIT AGARKA??? Someone who made Gayle his bunny was under-utilized by a team who has a record of producing mediocre bowlers.... Anyone surprised.... Think about the line up which has Agarkar and Bhubaneswar sharing 2 new balls... They would share 7 wickets among themselves every match... And the rest 30 overs can be used by economical bowlers... Now that Agarkar has retired, India will be left to ponder what could have been changed.

Posted by ninad008 on (October 18, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

For those who are trying to defend Ishant's stats by saying he bowls on unresponsive pitches most of the times, please take a moment to look at his bowling career summary (in tests) by clicking on the link below.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/236779.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

The guy has a bowling average of 73 (Australia), 58 (England), 48 (South Africa) and 41 (New Zealand) while bowling on pitches which aid seam/swing. The only countries in which he averages under 30 are West Indies and Bangladesh. Most wickets in the West Indies are on the slower side now and Bangladesh is not particularly known for hard bouncy wickets.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (October 18, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Ishant and Vinay kumar can get wicket only when batsman slogs them.I am yet to see a single ball from Vinay Kumar which is a genuinely wicket taking one.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

fair to say if ishant is giving 8 runs a over, why not try a youngster who might give not more than eight runs at lease less. may be haircut will make him lucky. varun aaron, dinda, mesh yadav, irfan, awana, unadkat, mm sharma, sami, m goni, pravin kumar, balaji bowled really well ion IPL. How many chances we r going to give ishant. vinay and bhuvnashwar r on learning curve. 2 more chances and he should be off like sehwag and gambler. wait for the chance.

Posted by thecricketcritic on (October 18, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Ishant is not the 'Spearhead' but the 'Spray head' of the Indian bowling attack for the way he sprays around his deliveries.How can you expect B Kumar to improve his bowling when he sees a very ordinary bowler,who performs very poorly often, gets picked game after game,just because he had shown promise early in his career!! Ishant's attitude on the field is appalling-you cant help laughing when you see Ishant celebrating a 'hard earned wicket'(batsmen falls miscuing one out of greed after many hard hits) by staring down the batsmen and giving him a sendoff,well most of the times the batter would be a poor tailender. It looks as though he believes that he is the best bowler in the world & had an off day on the field. Sure he had shown some promise earlier but he needs to get his head out of the clouds and realize he needs to focus on improving his bowling & not become a joke on the field like he is now.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

I would always be shocked at how commentators such as Gavaskar and Shastri would nonchalantly rationalize the first ball "loosener" that went for a 4. How is it that every competing team can manage to bowl an absolutely sharp first spell without "looseners" and the Indians can't? The Indian cricket establishment has been living in obstinate denial and denigrating the standards of Indian bowling. They claim there is no bench-strength. Really? I'm sure you can bring in 2 Indian bowlers who would be more economical from IPL to replace Ishant Sharma and Ashwin. Both cause the spectator intense blood pressure. Ishant for his incompetence and Ashwin for the way he gifts sixes in an over. If Jadeja is bowling and his first 3-4 overs are 'off' then it's safe to assume that all his overs would be 'off' that day. Umesh and Aaron have pace, but why haven't these guys ever been able to learn from Stein on how he uses pace to get wickets and be economical in almost all wickets across the world?

Posted by Mehool_Sarkar on (October 18, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

I think Ishant Sharma is one of the worst bowler of all time Indian team... He never won single Test match for India after playing poor average of 37.99 almost 38 in 51 test. His ODI performance is not so good only Elton Chigumbura of Zimbabwe has a worse economy rate before him. I don't think he deserve his place because of SHARMA....

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

India was never a land of fast bowling. Their length and bounce suffers in International Cricket since they are used bowling to short statured Indian Batsmen in domestic cricket.In International Cricket, batsmen are much taller, which results in giving balls at such a length and bounce that can be clobbered for 4s and 6s. Our new ball bowlers lack a coach coming from a traditional fast bowling country such as West Indies. Appoint any of the West Indian fast bowling legends as their coach and see the difference.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 18, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

India would dominate all forms of cricket for many decades, if only the fans, the commentators, the self-professed experts and the media wrote critical articles on Indian bowlers and Indian bowling standards instead of harping on India's batting which has never been the problem these last 40 years. Indian bowlers can't bowl abroad, can't bowl on tracks generating movement, can't bounce, can't york, can't swing, can't maintain line, can't ramp up pace, can't bowl economically, can't field, can't bat, can't catch, can't run fast enough on the field, can't dive to stop a ball, don't have stamina, can't be consistent in whatever areas of strength, can't bowl to left-handers, can't bowl to people standing outside the crease, can't collect the ball behind the stumps to run-out people,... At any point in time there are at least 10 bowlers in the world who are better than any Indian bowler. The Indian tail has the weakest batting amongst the top 8 teams. The Indian selectors are blind!

Posted by dahl on (October 18, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

First Ishant should cut his hair mop. I don't know how he can see where he is bowling. Don't even think him taking a caught and bowled catch. Secondly, he and other fast bowlers should work on bowling line and length. Next work on bowling inline yorkers. These are not easy, but they need to work at it.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

Ishants height can add variety to the attack. HOWEVER, the proof is in the pudding. Ishant has failed to deliver up front and has put in some uninspiring performances at the death. In the first ODI, after bowling a great last over, he threw it away by conceding 6 off the last ball. Even his double-wicket over in the Champions trophy final was preceded by ordinary bowling. It's time for a change and it's not like we don't have options. Pandey, Kulkarni, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, and Unadkat (left arm variety) are all better options than Ishant and Vinay Kumar (who performed poorly against zimbabwe even though he was the most experienced seamer on the tour).

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 18, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

It is the time to think beyond Ishant, Vinay Kumar and Umesh in ODIs. I still feel Ashok Dinda and Varun Aaron has the potential but lack guidelines from a mentor to develop as ODI fast bowlers. No problem to test new talents from U19 matches or A teams.

Posted by Leggie on (October 18, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

@chris, valid point. Ishant's case though appears a little different. Ever since his problems with his ankle, his action has changed and he appears completely "lost" in the field. There is no visible intent of either taking a wicket or controlling the flow of runs. Bowlers like Bhuvanesh Kumar who bowls at low 130kmph have fared much better, and has consistently provided early breakthrough in ODIs. Umesh Yadav bowled India to a victory vs England recently in a test match in India on a wicket that had very little for the pacers. There is no notable performance from Ishant for over 3 years now. He needs a break and some guidance. The fans have every reason to be disappointed with him.

Posted by JustAnObservation on (October 18, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

Superb Article. Hope someone shows this to our selectors. I am always amazed as to why this guy is automatically selected not just for every series, whether Test matches, ODIs or T20s, but for every match. There are many in this forum who are suggesting that he is a Test bowler. Let me share some stats: In the past two years, he has taken 22 wickets from 15 Test matches at an average of 67! Forget about taking 5 wickets in an innings, he has not taken 5 wickets in a Test match during this period. Despite such awful performance, he will still be selected for the remaining matches in this series, get a couple of wickets in the 50th over of innocuous tail-enders who are blindly slogging, and again get automatically selected for the next three series!!!

Posted by team_india_no1 on (October 18, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

I feel Ishant is just there now so that Zaheer can come back with ease and replace experience for experience. Similar to Dinesh Karthik was for Yuvraj Singh's return. Everyone by now is clear about Ishant's (in)ability. Team management had persisted with Raina, Rohit, Jadeja and Ishant for a long time and only Ishant has turned to be a big flop so we can say 25% failure. I have full faith in Sandeep Patil as a selector so i take it easy. Yes Bhuvaneshwar Kumar looks pretty ordinary when the pitch is flat with no swing similar to Praveen Kumar. Reverse swing is almost out of the window with two new balls. This has also hurt Ishant Sharma a great deal and turned this average bowler into an ordinary one lately.

Posted by just_sagar_123 on (October 18, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

dhoni has never given up on ishant .. no matter what. i dont know why.

ishant keeps getting selected for every game.

if i was ishant - i would start with a clean hair cut. everything about this lad is awful.

Posted by EngineerKhan on (October 18, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

I am a Pakistani and confess that it feels very happy to see Indian bowlers getting smacked all around the park. But I strongly believe that they aren't as bad as they bowl. If I would be bowling coach, I would go for Bhuveshnuvar Kumar and Zaheer Khan or Irfan Pathan as new ball partners, while Ishant Sharma should bowl as 2nd change. He can bowl much much better if guided little bit. There is need to re-ignite the self-belief in him. I still believe that there isn't much wrong with these bowlers, just there is need to have some guidance from bowling coach.

Plus, I cant understand the role of Dhoni in using his bowlers. He is quite static if I dare to say and this is where it clearly appears that he doesnt still have sufficient Cricket Knowledge (I really dont know why he seems so uninterested to guide his bowlers in lines etc). But I equally confess they dont back him by bowling according to fielding, though field setting is awful as well

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

I think Ishant has captain's cover. There are other fast bowlers like Unadkat, Ahmed, Umesh to get a chance, but still captain is relying on ineffective and expensive Ishant Sharma. Right from the beginning of the match Dhoni has to think 'who is going to complete 10 over's Ishant's quota', but still he is retained in the team. We trust our captain but we cannot ignore the fact that he is believing in Ishant with both eyes closed, and India is paying for his (Ishant's) mistakes. Bhuvi is a new ball bowler, atleast he is doing that bit. He could be given the ball in middle overs as well, which Dhoni does not try. Expecting so much from the same man(Bhuvi) is not right and at the same time giving someone(Ishant) free-run in the side is even worse. I am thankful to Abhishek Purohit who have come up with this kind of article. Indians are really fed up of seeing Ishant and his repeated failures. I hope this article goes up to the concerned people and they open thr eyes.

Posted by akashchandran on (October 18, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Ishant can be given one more chance since this team has been picked for the first 3 ODIs and the team management may not like to take the decision to drop a senior player on their own. Depending upon the performance in the 3rd ODI as well, the selectors should, if necessary, drop him from the squad so that he may play some domestic games and try to get back in form.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

REALLY? You produce the flattest of all pitches and decide to hate on fast bowlers. No wonder India lacks decent fast bowlers, Indian pitches do nothing but break a fast bowlers confidence. Ishant is a damn good bowler and everyone knows it, Maybe its about time India start to produce pitches that are neutral. But NO!, Everyone wants to see sixes and fast centuries. I wonder why Indian batsmen struggle in test cricket overseas. Its a no brainer.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Interesting comparison between Morne Morkel & Ishant Sharma

Tests:

MM - Played 50 tests, took 176 wickets at an avg of 30.07 & economy of 3.24 IS - Played 51 tests, took 144 wickets at an avg of 37.99 & economy of 3.33

ODI:

MM - Played 66 ODI's took 111 wickets at an avg of 24.11 & economy of 4.88 IS - Played 67 ODI's took 95 wickets at an avg of 31.03 & economy of 5.66

Remember, Ishant Sharma plays cricket most of the time in the sub-continent where the grounds are small & pitches are flat as against Morne Morkel who plays in big grounds with a sporting wicket.

Ishant is a good bowler with minor flaws. If he works with people like David Saker or Glenn Mcgrath, he can be a very good bowler for India in years to come

Posted by 123cric on (October 18, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

Ishant, R.P. Singh, Ashwin are clear examples are Dhoni's favourite. Inspite of their performance they will find a place in the team and this is proven in past. Not playing Umesh yadav before world cup in Australia is virtually a crime. Australian pitches are well suited to his style of bowling. I still feel ishant can be a good Test bowler.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

Most of the "Self Proclaimed" (and non-self proclaimed) "Spearheads" have nether the sharpness of the "Spear". Nor do they bowl, adequately using the "Head"; in deciding the (a) line, (b) length, (c) pace, (d) swing -- tailor made to suit the batsmen or the situation. They just bowl. That is the crux of the problem. And, quote the pitch as the villain, when we see them doing it all over the world

I lost count of the number of times I have seen Ishant (for that matter, even the new-bee Yadav) bowling the leg stump line, or outside the leg stump, when almost all the fielders are waiting on the offside, and Dhoni is hand gesturing to them to bowl just outside the off-stump. Are they using their brain? Any fast bowler may lose the line, once in a while. Here it is NOT just once in a while.They are NOT real pace bowlers either, to lose control, so often!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 18, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

@Chris_P: Agree with all your points. But the problem is Indian pitches will never be like an Aussie or South African one with pace n bounce. The climate and soil types in India simply doesn't allow for that to happen. Even if the curators leave grass, it only helps the bowlers for an hour or so and then it becomes a batting beauty eventually crumbling towards the end of the test match. So yes, it doesn't help our bowlers much. This is why as Indian fans, a vast majority of us would like to see a lot more overseas tours to Aus, ENG, and SA on a frequent basis. Not necessarily for test cricket alone but for all formats. For example, this 7 match ODI series could have been played in Australia for a change. It would have coincided perfectly with the Australian summer. Ultimately, it comes down to the administrators and they don't seem to give it a thought.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 18, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

No offence to Ishant but I think he first of all needs a nice hair cut. Once that is done, his bowling could improve. No seriously ! Every time the fella delivers a ball, he can hardly see where he is pitching it. xD

Posted by MinusZero on (October 18, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

When i first saw Ishant play against Australia, i thought at the time, this is a potential number one bowler in the making. Oh, how wrong i was. Such a shame. With his height, he could have been great, he still could be. India need it, they needs some express quicks.

Posted by cricpanther on (October 18, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

Now it's high time to call up, Saurashtra's Speedster and V. Intelligent Pace Bowler, JAYDEV UNADKAT!! and removed Ishant Sharma for next matches. It's not fair to play and stick with him which is not necessary. After 1st odi, he should replaced, it's too late and bench players like unadkat, mishra are just getting frustrated more and more!! Height, High Run up and Long Hair would not make you good bowler, and Ishant is completely out of focus, have invested heavily and given plenty chance, now he should lead the other bowlers but always he is in cell and try to dodge. Where is Zaheer Khan?? Where is Irfan Pathan?? call both as well. For next world cup, India should have world class fast bowlers as well.

Posted by ashok1982 on (October 18, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

Ishant sharma should have hair cut first..so that he can see where he is pitching the ball. Anyway jokes apart... Ishant is a lanky bowler, who should utilize his height and generate good length deliveries. Fast bowling according to me cannot be the same as one bowls in the tests.. Its different by the nature of the game...be it, T20, One day and Test. T20 you need to attempt more of perfect yorkers, One day you need to stick to wicket to wicket and subtle variation and in Tests you need Good length and mix of full length in dippers and out swingers. In the case of Ishant he just bowls outside the off stump deliveries assuming that he will get a good movement of the ball which he does not. And he need to work on his seam position ie, when the ball lands on the pitch.. Its awful seam position most of the time in his case...If he can think and bowl like Zaheer , Srinath and many others, he too will become a lethal bowler soon..

Posted by srinideva on (October 18, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

@Chris_P, I completely agree on your assessment..We should prepare some fast bowlers friendly wickets for our fast bowlers as well as turning tracks for our strength. Jaipur ODI match was disgraceful for cricket. There was no contest b/w bat and ball. Only bang bang..Kohli just showed what was the pitch condition to play strokes. Not good for cricket overall..

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

He is a bowler without a brain - he should be kicked out of the team ASAP. This is a meaningless series - why not try a youngster like Mohit, Shami, Ishwar, Kulkarni, etc.

Posted by crick_sucks on (October 18, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

Spot on Abhishek Purohit. Couldn't agree more with you. It baffles why and how does Ishant is part of the playing XI. He can't bat, bowl or field. Instead of him Irfan Pathan should be given a go at least in India. He is a decent feilder and can bat as well. No matter whihc bowler you pick, he is going to go for a lot of runs in Indian conditions. So pick someone who can field good and bat as well. Makes sense.

Posted by srinideva on (October 18, 2013, 3:45 GMT)

Ishant`s overseas records are pathetic. He is one of the main reason for the downfall of Indian test record in abroad and india..Ishant sharma is part of ENG and Aus tour(Both home and away) and done nothing to talk about..He is not giving his best speed, so that he can avoid the injuries. His main strength is fast and bounce, now with a speed 130 to 135 kph is not going to get the results. I will prefer Umesh yadav with his speed and ability to pick early wicket and slightly high economy rate than this one dimensional medium slow bowler..Who said he is gorgeous with that long hair???

Posted by dariuscorny on (October 18, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

Ishant thinks he has to get rid of pace and concentrate on line and length moreover we shuld look what he ended up with,he was little better or we can say good when he bowled with decent,good pace for e.g when IND last toured AUS he bowled at high 140s but was unlucky,that can be digested but not thes things when batsmen can hit you at will at any part of the ground,he is 25 he does not need to drop pace for line and length, same thing is happening with Umesh ,IND needs to manage their fast bowlers very carefully,a proper fast bowling coach shud be appointed

Posted by vik56in on (October 18, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

The insistence of Dhoni and the selectors on Ishant has resulted in the loss of Sreesanth, a wonderful talent to Indian cricket.Time and again Ishant was picked over Sree even though the later was the better bowler.Unfortunately Sree was never mature with a good head fell into bad ways and is now permanently off the radar .

Posted by TRAM on (October 18, 2013, 3:37 GMT)

I dont buy in to "too much cricket" as an excuse.

One, if that is the only issue, all these bowlers must have been very successful in their first few matches right? How many bowlers took 4-fors in their initial few matches?

Two, it is bowler's responsibility to request for a break - for a match or two, when he feels the body tiring. Selectors/captain will not forget his good performance easily. They need good bowlers. So he doesn't need to worry about losing his place.

Three, it is the bowlers' responsibility in this modern world to not just keep fit but to keep *improving* the strength and SKILL. One, the opponents study the bowlers videos. Two, they have good facilities like gym, trainers, bowling coaches, videos of batsmen they are going to bowl at, etc, and they are paid well. So what is the problem?? If they dont improve within 1-2 years, they MUST be OUT of consideration.

Four, as some one already pointed out, *food matters*. Food + habit = body, Period.

Posted by captainclever on (October 18, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

Where is umaeh yadav and praveen kumar? I think they are better bowlers then ishant sharma..

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

Ishant is like Agarkar! Much on hype but less on delivery!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

With these kind of pitches India should forget about winning the next world cup.As an avid cricket fan i want to see a pitch which offers something for the bowlers.Good sporting pitches will encourage indians to be bowlers.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

The problem is not even about giving Ishant enough chances to prove his valour, but he not realising it and living up to it... Many a times he just shows as though he is delivering his 100% and bowls a non sense delivery.... One does not expect him to be street smart but atleast be smart and assess the situation and bowl accordingly... Except for that hostile spell he bowled against ponting, i have never seen him bowl convincingly and conviction...all his wickets are either a good catch,or inside edge and has very little to do with a brilliant delivery

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

The real issue with Indian Fast/Medium bowlers is the lack of proper bowling coach. Since India were never considered to be a place of producing fast bowlers, the same applies to coaches also. So its better to hire a bowling coach from a country with rich tradition of fast bowling eg: West Indies. They can atleast teach them to bowl a bouncer not at the height of an average Indian batsman ( about 5 foot 8 inches) and get clobbered for 4s and 6s in international matches but at batsman with height well over 6 foot.

Posted by nkoch on (October 18, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

why just ODI? He's a spear with no head whatsoever in all forms of game. Easily the most overrated Indian player.. over-rated by himself that is...

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (October 18, 2013, 2:35 GMT)

@Chirs_P, in fact, the more unfriendly the pitches are for fast bowlers, the more a fast bowler will learn in honing his skills. Just the way, the tougher the practicing pitches are for batsmen, the better they will develop their batting skills. So, your assertion that seamer unfriendly tracks are responsible for lack of quality seamers is fallacious. Next, however unresponsive a pitch is for a fast bowler, you don't need a pitch to bowl a Yorker. Do you? So, where's that Yorker in Ishant's arsenal (FYI, compare Wasim and Waqar in this regard. They just took the pitch out of the equation). As I said, this ad nauseam banging about "seamer unfriendly pitches leads to inferior fast bowlers" is fallacious. It's about having the skills to implement what you intend to implement. Zaheer has it in him to implement and out-think a batsman. Ishant is simply a brain-dead guy who runs in again and again and again and again......

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

If Ishant manages to curb his uncanny smile whenever his is hit, he would do a lot of good to concentrate to maintain a line and length action of which he lacks now very much.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

Dhoni's wisdom and integrity in selecting the final playing eleven is circumspect. His decisions are a preconception and based on actual facts.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (October 18, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

I would want to remind fellow boarders and the author that Ishant has played one test 51 times and one ODI 66 times. He is a dead-weight. Work-ethic alone shouldn't be the criterion to get selected again and again. What about the gross and fine motor skills to execute what you intended to execute? Run-up, position of wrist, jump, stride, release, follow-through - I thought all these are motor skills which you can't teach but which you need to possess. You can only hone your skills; can't teach them; can't create them either. Just look at that picture! He has work-ethics? I doubt it. If he does have, how could he allow his shameful hair to block his view of the batsman even for a split-second? He is an eye-sore. Repulsive and annoying in every aspect. A true all-rounder, in that sense! Ishant is a perfect example of how a fast bowler shouldn't be.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 1:59 GMT)

Present crop of bowlers - pace sorry medium pace and spin alike- of India lack the basics of line and length. Fact that limited overs is favouring batsman. But it is a common sight that with packed off side, they leak fours on the leg side. Worst sight is that the batsman is not making movements in the crease etc. but plays audcious shots knowing fully well even if he misses the stumps would not be hit. See what Finch is doing. He simply stands and delivers. Ashwin with his "bar tender" ( thanks Sunny bhai) action tries too many variations and gets clobbared. All good work in the first 10 or 20 overs is undone when you go for average 8 to 10 in the remainingand batsman always stare at 300 plus.

Posted by Mary_786 on (October 18, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

Ishant's bowling is why i am against picking test batsman based on ODI form, hitting Ishant on dead pitches is hardly comparable to facing Anderson and Broad on a bouncy gabba wicket.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (October 18, 2013, 1:50 GMT)

Ishant reminds me of Mitchell Johnson (though Johnson is a bit better to be fair to him). Both of them pull that magic spell out of a hat every 10 games or so, which is enough to keep them in the team. And yes, they are both luck dependent bowlers which is why so much is made of Ishant's poor "luck".

I do feel a little sympathy for Ishant though. I can't imagine what it muse be like being a fast bowler in India. Probably a bit like trying to be a spinner in Australia.

Posted by TimeKiller on (October 18, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

There is no room for fast bowlers in limited overs cricket in India. They are of no use here. Only Spinners and Medium Pacers with good control, are effective in these small pitches. Let all Indian fast bowlers play outside the country, that is where they are needed, especially in Test matches. They are not needed in India, so when India is not touring, let them go play domestic tournaments outside the country, like County Cricket in England for example (i.e. if they get selected there).

Posted by mayur.rane on (October 18, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

Let's cut him some slack. Unless India makes pitches which favor fast bowling, this is bound to continue.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

i think this criticism of Ishant is completely unjustified .He has a lot of supporters and cricket fans .From Adelaide to Brisbane to Perth to Sidney people are singing his praises .He has helped the Aussie cricket team immensely and we Indians need to realise that Ishant must be played in the spirit of fostering better relations between our cricketing countries and hey he does have better stats than that one bowler from Zimbabwe and that should count for something !. ishant there is no reason to change your bowling speed ,bowl yorkers etc .all the fans er Aussie cricket fans are firmly behind you.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

I agree Ishant hasn't fared well considering the number of opportunities that were given to whom. But wow, can the author not even think of a few positives about the bowler who has been representing the national team for 6 + years?

Lashing him left and right (and) all other sides possible, throughout this article. Come on! Btw, I am not an Ishant fan, but to whichever sportsperson this may be about to dedicate a complete article to highlight the cons is just ridiculous.

Posted by AlbertPintoGussaHua on (October 18, 2013, 1:02 GMT)

Its time for the selectors to seriously introspect because good batting alone can get you only so far and its not easy to chase 300+ totals every day. Start grooming Mohit Sharma, Jaydev Unadkat and other promising youngsters now.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

You neven lose, if you get into the good booksof any power center: Proof: Ishant, Ashwin, Vinay, Jadeja, out of form Rohits, et al. Some one like Irfan will prove he inverse theorem. Irfan oly fell from grace. Shreeshant evn in his "good" days was never in the "good books"

Posted by AjaySridharan on (October 18, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

Ishant has been overrated. But for some brilliant spells in some Tests, he is largely ineffective. Dhoni should demand more from him. Unfortunately, no one is giving him a run for his money. That's the problem - no competition. Look at Sehwag and Gambhir...competition is keeping them out. Where's the competition on the fast bowling department?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2013, 0:50 GMT)

LoveTeamIndia on (October 17, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Support for your "Sharma Theory": Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma. Young guns like Sandeep Shrama, Kiran Sharma et al should go for "auditioning", when their player scouts come for talent hunting. You Sharms has good chance.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (October 18, 2013, 0:07 GMT)

Finally someone sees Ishant for what he is and has the guts to put it words. I don't know who he has pleased, but, let's face it, Ishant Sharma is a totally useless bowler who doesn't even have the IQ to learn with experience. Vinay Kumar is another. Guys, drop these deadwoods and try someone new. They can't do any worse than these two tested failures and we might unearth a real talent.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 23:58 GMT)

Ishant is unable to pitch in the right areas as his "Too Long" hair is covring his eyes at the point of delivery. He is not a "Sampson" , try a shorter haircut !!!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

@ Chris_P - Couldn't agree with you more :) Not defending Ishant Sharma and he is not my favorite bowler in the current Ind team but in both the ODI's he has had catches dropped in the first two overs he bowled. Sometimes little things like that can do heaps to boost a bowlers confidence. Who knows if those two catches were taken he would have started bowling a better line and perhaps taken more wickets. On the other hand if he is not performing then dropping him mightthe best thing to do for now. Why is Umesh Yadav not being picked is beyond me. He is the only Ind bowler who can bowl 145+ and yes pace does matter. Any-day better than Vinay Kumar.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 23:01 GMT)

Absolutely the worst cricket to ever play 51 test matches, cannot move the ball, cannot bowl at pace, cannot field, cannot even bowl straight. Tail enders hit him for six all the time. He's a fast spinner at the best. Shouldn't even be included in a Ranjhi team based on his averages and figures. Pathetic. An example of how deprived we are of a good bowler.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 22:39 GMT)

Pay fast bowlers 50% more match fees than batsmen and spinners. A fast bowler is going to work harder than the rest, get injured more often, miss more matches due to injuries and rotation policies, and most importantly retire earlier than batsmen and spinners. Why would aspiring cricketers from India take up fast bowling, when batsmen make more, play more, have longer careers, get more endorsements etc. It's simple "demand and supply". Get more kids to take up fast bowling with better incentives, which will result in a bigger pool of talent for India selectors to choose from, and ultimately better pace bowling than the mediocre Ishants and Vinays.

Posted by m_ilind on (October 17, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

Add to that his long hair keeps failling over his eyes in his follow-thru which doesn't enable him to see the ball clearly if it's hit back to him. I remember he dropped a sitter in an ODI bcoz of that. When will he learn?

Posted by AmitMali10 on (October 17, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

I can not believe we do not have pace bowlers who are not sincere or smart enough to perform in all conditions. We are not looking for express pace bowlers like Steyn or Brett Lee but someone like Sreenath, Zaheer Khan. We have so many medium pacers like them in domestic cricket. If they had 6 years to develop I am sure we would have had 3 reliable medium pacers. We have invested 6 years for a premium spot in the indian cricket team. Is there not a annual review system? Any employee in any kind of industry has a performance review. Don't take me wrong, I have also played couple of sports in university leagues and clubs. But why is that no one sees the underperformance? Same thing is happening with Ashwin, I swear I have played better off spinners than Ashwin in my university, clubs and corporate tournaments in maharashtra. He bowls like a highschool kid who gets amused by antics while bowling than the real art. He is a shame for a country of the legendary spin quartlet.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

@dabbadubba, who said he was the hero in the final. He gave away 36 runs in 4 overs at 9runs/over. He has been performing pretty ordinary, even if he gets wicket its more of batsman trying to slog or good catch from an ordinary ball.

Well, all we are saying is there are others waiting , hard working for ever and people like Ishant never perform nor use their brains.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (October 17, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

India are playing at home. They should give another bowler a go. Most other teams tinker with their bowling attack in ODIs.

Posted by Natx on (October 17, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

It took 3-4 years for people to even realize he is not the same old Ishant that bowled to Ponting. Folks forget that Aus pitches support bounce and in 2007-08, he had a decent bowling action and listened to others. Thereafter the "spearhead" thing got on to his head and he became useless. Another fine example on how regional politics work in selection no matter who leads the panel. Get rid of this guy for god's sake and give chance to another youngster. He may not become super hero overnight, but will not sure become a laughing stock like Ishant. India doesn't need express bowlers (it is not going to happen) but ones who bowls line and length and swing at decent pace. The list of youngsters in the wait list is long - Sandeep Sharma, Mohit, Siddharth Kaul, Pankaj Singh, etc. Give them chances against WI, NZ etc. and see how they fair. Vinay Kumar is another hopeless bowler and needs to be fired as well.

Posted by ManoshChowdhury on (October 17, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

It is good to see someone analyzing with a sheer defiance to the Indian big cricket machineries and its actors. No matter how wonderful and/or lucky captain he is, Dhoni comforts almost every spectacle around the globe, mostly because of his dangerous batting along with a set of unfazed expressions. But he clearly has his strong priorities about player selection that often contradict the common sense. At the same time he can take some honors too with the kinds of Jadeja. His persistence paid off truly in this case. Still Ishant is too unconvincing for such a long run. Forget Patil, Ishant is definitely the captain's man in the team. Abhishek's piece clearly unfolds the double standard the captain maintains. That is even more dangerous than pursuing for a particular selection.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 17, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

I keep reading so many comments from Indian fans about their lack of pace spearheads & continually bagging their pace bowlers whenever they get taken to the cleaners.. Ishant was a wonderful talent when he first toured down under, Umesh looked even better, but what do they get served up to bowl on when they return home? Flat decks where bowlers get no encouragement, no incentives for them to learn as they trundle their efforts on uncompromising pitches, & get squeezed out of their potential, then get lambasted by their "fans". The lesson here is that they should be encouraged to bowl quick by playing on seaming tracks, greener decks, the positives would be two-fold, 1) not only would the bowlers sustain their development, but 2) batsmen can also develop their techniques against the bouncing, quicker balls. Just maybe, they could even compete out of Asia? Just a thought.

Posted by mucheemaann on (October 17, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

I think the argument that 'Bhuvaneshwar Kumar needs to look up to somebody' is wrong. Dhoni gave up on Ishant Sharma and he is hoping that Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will be the future of India bowling - which is why he wants Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to improve. Remember, Dhoni talked about Yorkers and chest height full tosses - he clearly gave up on Ishant. 6 years on from his debug - Ishant is only remembered for his Perth spell to an 'at the time out of form' Ricky Ponting. WE should use these meaningless T20s and limited overs cricket to experiment and give chances to new bowlers. If not, we will continue to have these sub-par bowlers.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

@hhillbumper - you talk as if the English cricket team is the world's best when it clearly isn't. Yes the test team has been somewhat successful in the test format in the last 2-3 year but that's it. I think you have forgotten how useless your team was between 95 - 2002. I can't stop laughing at bowlers like caddick who used to get smashed all over the park. I'd like to see Eng win the WC then u should talk :)

Posted by RaviNarla on (October 17, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

There is saying "sow as you reap". Australia, SA, Pak and Eng produce fast bowlers because their pitches aide fast bowling. You need to plan for a few faster bouncy pitches at least at the domestic level. Spinners too will have some purchase because of the hard bouncy wickets. That way fast and spin bowlers will have a wicket that can be exploited. That alone is not enough. You need to a training regime that is specially designed for the rigours of fast bowling and it should be implemented at the age group ranks. Every cricketer should be in a "cross-fit" training programme that aims at improving the agility, power, flexibility, core strength, endurance and so many other areas of fitness. Moment you are athletic fit other things will fall in place. Above all it is the attitude to improvise on your skills. Shane Warne once said Panesar played 30 games like his first game. Ishant is no different. It's time we tried Dhawal Kulkarni or Ishwar Pandey.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

I feel whenever he bowls... situation will change better to batting side.. more in tense situation. So please throw him and pick atleast a batsman if not a decent bowler.

Posted by dabbadubba on (October 17, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

Such an harsh article. Only 3 months ago Ishanth Sharma was the hero of indias victory in the champions tropy final.. now he is a zero ? Give him some leeway.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

I request Dhoni to give opportunities to young fast bowlers and not to continue with Ishant & Ashwin. If you want to do any good in coming tours of SA or WC15 express bowlers has to be groomed.

Ishant is the most luckiest bowler in the world to be in team for such a long time, if India has to consistently win any where in the world the answer is good super fast bowlers who can defend even lowest totals in some situations. I know Sandip Patil is brave man he will definitely think on this and wont let Ishant & Ashwin to continue forever.

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 17, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Bottomline is indian food diet is not good for fast bowling. It lacks strength. Only beef gives enough returns and most indians do not eat. So basically there is no replenishment after first 2 years of bowling , all joint liquids which keep all working gone. After that bowlers do not take risk , thats why they slow down in bowling. Its just that only beef gives the power and lots of gym (weight lifting especially for leg). Stronger foundation (legs) , faster one can bowl. There is also nephotism. Very difficult for outsider gets in the team unless their state board has influence in BCCI.

Posted by hhillbumper on (October 17, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

@BigIndFan there is not a county going who would want such a poor bowler.Worcs went for Zak because he was cheap but the last decent Indian bowlers in County cricket was Kumble and Srinath and that was 95.Sharma could get a game with our local village if we run a bit short

Posted by maddy20 on (October 17, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

We should replace Ishant with Ishwar Pandey as soon as possible. That way he would get some game time ahead of the SA tour. Ishwar bowls in the mid 130's but is stunningly accurate and keeps homing in on the off-stump till he gets his reward. We have no place for bowlers who forget the basics and bowl a yard outside off!

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (October 17, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

and with the kind of 'bowling attack' he has at his disposal you cant really blame dhoni for his poor record in away tests , apart from zaheer khan and may be bhuvi (if he could bowl a bit more faster) i don't see any hope in our fast bowling unit , sreesanth had that genuine talent but is lost to Indian cricket forever , and guys like umesh yadav has pace but is nowhere near the likes of pattinson or cummins in terms of skills

Posted by yoohoo on (October 17, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

Nobody is supporting Ishant here, understandably. But, there are no real alternatives there either. Ishant gives some level of control outside india. The others are even worse.

Mohit seems to be good, but he is very similar to bhuvi. So you cannot play both of them at the same time. Umesh needs to get more control, Irfan is useless. Unadkat, Shami Ahmed, etc have been very unconvincing. In the chances they have got they were not better than ishant.Ishant atleast has some experience nowadays, with which he gets some wickets. Others are walking 'hit me's.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Bhuvi + any 2 of - Irfan (he can also bowl 6 / 7 overs at an 8+ average, his batting will get something back for us, unlike Ishant) / Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Dhawal, Mohit, Unadkat, Zak, maybe even Kapil Dev / Roger Binny in preference to Ishant.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (October 17, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

More a "sparehead" than a spearhead. Him and that Vinay Kumar...what is Indian team's obsession with these pie chuckers really? Bhuvi should be rested and used for only tests. You cannot expect a swing bowler like him to bowl 45th over and get wickets. Bring back Umesh, but make sure he is properly coached, so he can be the enforcer (he is the only "Fast" bowler we got anyway). There are other bowlers that shone in IPL, like that Shukla guy from Rajastan. Take them all to NCA or MRF Pace foundation, lock them up for six months and train them in all aspects. Remember, we are doing this for Indian team. Follow the example of ECB on how they protect their players. Don't just sell slay your golden egg laying goose at one time.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (October 17, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

He has played 51 tests ! now that is some serious amount of experience we are talking about , so i really don't think he has anymore magical hidden potential there in him , get this guy out of both test and one day teams , let him go back and work on his skills and earn his spot back , its as simple as that ! he could at least observe and learn how tall guys like stuart broad operates ,or may be try pitching it up as mcdermott says , also we should get a good bowling coach , someone like wasim akram who can guide our youngsters

Posted by dinedk on (October 17, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Ishant is not really a good bowler. Even you and me bowl can take a wicket like him. He cannot bowl full lenth or good yorker or troble the batsmen with some intelligent ball. Then why he is bowling like a speedstar without any result. Any good bowler should produce result which wha is neccessary in one day cricket. In indian cricket performance never counted and time is given to preove one. Any person will perform if he get the chance like 10 or 50 matches. Especially a lot of talents waiting outside. Frankly speaking they are afraid, if you give chance to a newcomer then they will perform then the spot is gone.

Posted by rsurya on (October 17, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

A good article at the right time. But now what will happen is, Ishanth will take 3 wickets in his next match which will be an obvious fluke and he will become untouchable for another year. And atlast there will be an article in cricinfo titled "Ishanth is back".

Posted by anilkp on (October 17, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

RajestNayak said " Stats can't be taken in to consideration to judge the effectiveness of a player".

Sorry, but I (and most others) cannot agree. Runs and wickets are the ONLY two factors that determine the fate of a game. A batsman has to score runs, and briskly so, even as some situations might need a certain batsman to hold an end. A bowler has to (1) take wickets, and (2) keep the RR to a minimum. These are the only three jobs the batter/bowlers have to do. How many runs scored, wickets taken and runs conceded are the numerical expression that is called "stat" (statistics). Now, tell me Rajesh, if you will not evaluate a player by these numbers, then how will you? Based on how indefatigable a players appears? What use is the attitude to run in in express speed all day, if that does not take a wicket, or instead leaks tons of boundaries? Sorry, but these lame excuses are hurting us the most.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

If you look at Ishant Sharma objectively anywhere in the world, he is garbage. Barring Australia, where the pitches offer more bounce and are more conducive to back of length bowling. Dhoni doesn't expect Ishant to win him matches in flat pitches in subcontinent. Dhoni is thinking long-term. He has made up his mind that Ishant is playing the 2015 WC, and he is backing him to the tilt. That's what he did with the other, more illustrious (Rohit) Sharma. And that's what makes MSD special - he has only one target in mind,and that's the only thing in his pursuit. He doesn't care about small distractions. That's what makes him so special. Unless, of course he has a Sharma fetish.

Posted by Bharat1981 on (October 17, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

Ishant is a useless bowler. He keeps bowling short balls and also gives lot of rooms to the batsmen and gets hit ball by ball but does not change either his line and length. I have never seen him bowl a yorker ball also. I don't know how he is picked up match after match. The only option is to bring back Zaheer Khan. He still is India's best medium pace bowler and he can continue even till the next world cup i.e. 2015 if no other bowler is found till that time.

Posted by ball_boy on (October 17, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Who says Dinda isnt developed.This guy is a much better thinker than most has pace,yorkers,bouncers and when in rhythm is a far better bowler than many.Only problem he tries too much like when he get the batsman to keep his bat shut for the first 4 balls, in his need to create more pressure he errs and skews the over,one which definitely can be redeemed with experience.Plus he is a far better fielder than many excepting Yadav.He was the one who got India over the winning line in the 43rd over only to never get a chance to bowl in that match and then no more.Guess what Sharma and Bhuvi handled the remaining overs and helped the England team to score 334 when the score was 242 with Morgan and Pitersen out due to Dinda and new batsman at crease.Pray tell Mr Dhoni did the guy hurt you emotionally or physically or does Ishant cooks better than he bowls

Posted by TimeKiller on (October 17, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

Ishant has the worst average/strike rate among all the bowlers in the world who have played at least 50 tests and 50 one-day matches. Ishant must has have serious political clout, else this would not have been possible.he would have been out of the team long time ago. Mr. Sandeep Patil, Come on, be brave, go ahead and replace him immediately with Unadkat/Shami/Mohit in One-days and with Abhimanyu Mithun in tests. Mithun is the fittest Indian pace bowler at the moment, who can bowl 25 overs a day for 3 consecutive days without breaking down.

Posted by GRVJPR on (October 17, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

After reading the headline I thought Australian bowling spearhead dismissed India for 50 runs. Funny article, when opposition bowling couldn't defend 360. They couldn't defend 200 in T-20 as well.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

This is in response to 'Cricketsasportnotproduct' : While you have made some very intelligent observations it is hardly about nourishment to begin with, if that was the case then we Indians should take a page out of the book of the Pakistanis.......even now after no games are played in Pak and it is a mere shadow of its former self they still produce phenomenal fast bowling talent....How do they do it ? HOW ? I have to believe its heir attitude, aggressive and ruthless. We need players like this, strong blokes with the right frame of my ..nourishment comes later though I agree with the point of not making your premier fast bowlers play too much cricket...divide your Test and T0 side completely.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

Import Pakistanis from the Punjab and teach them the 'Vande Mahtaram', its the only way India will get a good breed of fast bowlers. :)

Posted by bbnn on (October 17, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

People wamt Mishra and Iswar Pandey in the team but both are over rated bowlers ,I never see Mishra dominating over batsmen in international level exept Zim .Iswar pandays fastest ball in 125 KPH with his strong body that is very less. More over you need to use your brain as a bowler i think Mohith and Rishi Dhawan can play for India with Buvaneswar Kumar

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Its just inexplicable when I see Indian team trying out a lot of new batsmen in order to come up with a lot of options for one place however, on the other end, we are persisting with the one who has refused to improve. Ishant, to me, keeps on bowling without applying his brains. He keeps on bowling short stuff irrespective of the wicket, batsmen, situation and keep on getting a lot of boundaries either square off the wicket or in the mid-wicket region every now and then. Can't believe we have someone, who is the worst ever bowler to have played more than 50 tests for India, as our leader of the pack. Not sure of the logic why we don't want to move away from him. If we have set standards and expectations from batsmen as high as we have seen then there is no way why we cant have the same from our bowling department which undoubtedly is our weakest link, cometh 2015 WC.

Posted by zinuk222 on (October 17, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

When was the last time Indian first bowler took five wicket in ODI ? May be Irfan Pathan taken against SL

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Its great to see you guys are allowed to comment on indian team selection or criticise indian player. Not like commentators they are hired by BCCI not to speak or criticise any player or selection.

Posted by Raman.UV on (October 17, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

India had good bowlers like Agarkar, Zaheer, Nehra, Irfan and RP... But the current set of meduim pacers like BK, PK Vinay, Ishant, Dinda, umesh etc are just beloew avg bowlers when compared to others like Zak, nehra and Agarkar... I still remember few matches where Nehra and zaheer won matches for India from the mouth of defeat, famous one in WC2011 against Eng and one whre Nehra defended 6 or 7 runs in final over against pak... The current set or bowlers doesnt know how to bowl with old one especially BK and VK... Vinay and Dinda are almost a street bowler Indian should look for yadav and unadkat and groom them cos they have some pace. it will be a difficult job for india to defend the Wc2014 with these medicore bowlers.

Posted by charminar_express on (October 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

I do agree that ishant is not performing to the expectations which fans and the team can have from a regular bowler with an experience of 6 years. Forget about guiding his junior bowlers, he is not even able to perform as the are doing in the recent past. But at the same time what could the reason behind his continuation in the team despite his poor performance be? it most probably would be that there are no other bowlers in the spare who are 'more reliable' than he is for the selectors.You may name some of the names here but i doubt the consistency of them, for the recent absence of zaheer has made dhoni and selectors see ishant as a senior bowler abd rely upon him more. And there are situations(though very few)where he could reach to the expectations and I believe that i felt the same with rohith and few others initially, who proved themselves later. So, I would like to say that commenting on his capabilities may not improve the bowling standards of neither him or India.

Posted by alanlolmadrasi on (October 17, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

We should stop consuming chapati, rice and bring double cheese burger, big mac as our national food so that we could bring quality fast bowlers like england & australians

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Brilliant piece, I have been thinking about the same and I have never understood the logic to include Ishant in the Indian ODI or T20I teams. Dhoni had talked about Horses for Courses a while ago and he needs to adopt the same policy here as well. I think Ishant can still deliver value as a test bowler but he needs to be stopped from playing limited over internationals.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

Although not from same era, can someone help finding the similar averages and economy rates (first 15 and last 10 overs) of best performing Indian ODI pace bowlers in last 15 years, Irfan Khan, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Javagal Srinath? Couldn't find any query on statsguru for the same.

Posted by vinayespn on (October 17, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

Indians are now realizing that Ishant 'pathetic' sharma is all about height, lean frame and lengthy freeflowing hair.. He has all the physical attributes of becoming a tearaway fastbowler.. But he lacks wisdom, accuracy and variety which are important to succeed as an international bowler(spin/pace).. He has played 51 tests much under the shadow of Zaheer as there was no competition in fast bowling department. He is not a quick learner n hasn't improved his death bowling.. Only an Indian personal fast bowling coach - Kapil/ Srinath

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

Ishant is fast becoming the new mohammad sami

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

I don't want Ishant even to perform in future becoz even he performed in one-two match as he did in Oz series than again he will get picked up again and again and again for 4-5 yrs and we will have to watch some obscure bowling again so it is better if he never performs...... Sometimes I feel if laxmipathy Balaji had been given this many opportunities he would have one of the lethal bowlers of modern day cricket.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (October 17, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

Looking at ishant bowl in ODI's is like watching a 7 match bilateral series between India and Srilanka....soooooo boring :(

Posted by android_user on (October 17, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

worst Pacer of all time... look at his poor stats. not a single match he won for country ... not one! !

Posted by Shahed.Akhtar on (October 17, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Thanks Abhishek. For the right title to the article. Indeed, India suffers due to this seemingly incurable illness that plagues our bowlers. Even Bhuvi Kumar is not swinging it anymore. Our bowlers cannot, at will,: a) swing it b) bowl pace c) reverse swing d) bowl nagging lengths & line e) bowl Yorkers f) bowl bouncers ...

Our shameless obsession with high-scoring games kills the enthusiasm in people like Bhuvi, Umesh etc. I hope that the authorities take steps to restore some sort of credibility to Indian bowlers by creating the right ambience.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

As a spectator and follower of Cricket I have even stopped feeling pity or sympathy or whatever word is there for helpless fellow......... The worst thing is even tailenders feel confident against the so called spearhead of Indian bowling and are whanking him for runs and our spearhead is celebrating the wicket of tailenders as if he has dismissed the top batsman in the world, and what is more pathetic is 80 percent of his wickets come when some tailender is trying to hit him out of city Sorry to say but this is way too many opportunities for any cricketer and even some cricketer get out of the domestic side if he fails to show any potential for this long period.

And one has to say MSD really has some favrotes and his so called stick to one team strategy is completing demoralizing for those who are waiting for there chances like amit mishra, Unadket, Shami etc becoz again they will made to go out of the side for next 4 Odi's even widout playing.

Posted by rationize on (October 17, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

He is going Srinath way who had the speed but sucked in controlling the run rates. His compatriots Prasad and Manoj Prabhakar had done much better job.

This guy has the ability to be much better bowler. Need to have some special coaching from bowlers like Holding / Hadley or McGrath. I think he shouldn't compromise on his speed just work on his length and swing.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Well written article..........

As a spectator and follower of Cricket I have even stopped feeling pity or sympathy or whatever word is there for helpless fellow......... The worst thing is even tailenders feel confident against the so called spearhead of Indian bowling and are whanking him for runs and our spearhead is celebrating the wicket of tailenders as if he has dismissed the top batsman in the world, and what is more pathetic is 80 percent of his wickets come when some tailender is trying to hit him out of city Sorry to say but this is way too many opportunities for any cricketer and even some cricketer get out of the domestic side if he fails to show any potential for this long period.

And one has to say MSD really has some favrotes and his so called stick to one team strategy is completing demoralizing for those who are waiting for there chances like amit mishra, Unadket, Shami etc becoz again they will made to go out of the side for next 4 Odi's even widout playing.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

Abhishek Purohit, you have hit the nail on the head. Ishant sharma has been given way too many chances and to say that he is unlucky would be a cruel slap on the face of budding fast bowlers. A veteran of 50 tests with a bowling average of 38 should be playing Ranji trophy instead of TEST and ODI cricket. If this bloke ends up playing 100 tests then he will end up with a bowling average of 50. Let's spare a thought for poor agarkar who was mercilessly hounded by the media and the fans for giving 50 runs and picking 3 odd wickets in the ODIs. Ishant sharma makes agarkar look like a legend. With due respect Agarkar was a skillful bowler whose only guilt was conceding one boundary ball per over. Nevertheless he did redeem himself at the fag end of his ODI career and ended up with 288 wickets in 191 ODIs. In comparison ishant sharma continues to leak runs in ODIs despite playing over 50 ODIs

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

Spearhead is a wrong word for any of the current crop of Indian bowlers. Ishant just does not have the bowling sense, pace or temperament to be a threat. A one off performance cannot be counted. A spearhead is one, who the opposition plan on how to tackle, a la Steyn, Saeed Ajmal, Muralidharan, McGrath, Warne etc. Just being the most experienced does not make you a spearhead. Same applies for the Kumars and Ashwinis.

India needs to focus on a new crop of bowlers. One bad outing for the batsmen in a crucial match could spell disaster in a knock out competition. And please give Amit Mishra etc a long run. Dhoni is making the same mistake of playing favourites which his predecessors were guilty of.

And why does Dhoni have to play in all formats? Is he so indispensable? How to we groom the next lot?

Posted by K_Srini on (October 17, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

A very poor and hopeless bowler in the recent past. Ishant has just not been performing at all in any format of the game. It's high time a deserving Mohit Sharma of Shami gets a place. Just cannot sustain the pathetic quality of bowling from Ishant. Honestly, feel like switching off the TV when he comes to bowl. Selectors - Please kick him out of the team if you want Indian bowling to prosper.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Same applied for to it after 100 games he comes good. So why complain about ishant.he is eveb younger to rohit. Stop diplomacy. Equal for all players

Posted by archis100 on (October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Cricketsasportnotproduct is very insightful. Fast bowlers are a special breed. They need to be groomed/managed very carefully, so the experts say. Can CRICINFO write an article what nature of training India lacks in this department, as compared to Aus/SA/Eng/Pak?

We are the richest country as far as cricket money and number of people playing (i.e., the 'pipeline'). But we are also the poorest when it comes to plan & execute on ANY long term goal. I remember Vekatesh Prasad as a successful bowling coach recently, who was silently dropped after a very successful (but brief) run. We keep hurting ourselves with no end in sight. Very soon, Bhuvi will be asked to step up on his speed, do this, do that, and we will have a confused horse in action.Can we expect better things from BCCI?

We did improve in fielding, it started with better cricket fields (dive without the fear of injury) train better, etc. Money helped. For bowling though, long term planning will be key. Is anybody trying?

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Once again.. Play the three spinners and two fast bowlers.. I would pick neither Vinay Kumar nor Ishant in any team together.. They are useful bowlers.. But together they are just cannon fodder.. Play Shami and Mishra instead of these two and I am sure India will not have to chase 360 again.. Mishra is an excellent attacking option..

Posted by Nadeem_Jaffery on (October 17, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Dear Mr. Administrator, usually truth is bitter, so is the medicine that cures your ailment. Despite hitting new lows in recent past, Pakistan has always managed to stay afloat in the international arena due to it's boling attack. Why? Because they have a legacy. India, too, has a decent bowling legacy. Why don't you use it for present and future benefit????

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Sorry! I don't agree! Our spearhead is not blunt, though not the sharpest tool in the box. He can fit in many teams as a 3rd seamer, given his pace. Though he can be up there with the best when the ball starts swinging.

And lo!, I am talking about Bhuvanesh Kumar. He is our spearhead and probably the only head in this otherwise headless bowling attack.

Posted by GRVJPR on (October 17, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

What did dale steyn did in recently concluded test on flat pitch of UAE. The thing is soon he will be playing on doctored fast pitches of South Africa. I will call him a great if he shows that he can bowl on Indian tracks 60 matches in a row, match after match like Ishant and don't think of early retirement. This criticism is rediculous.These are same people who said kohli will disappear afte 10 ODI. Well, they know he is there to stay. Give him doctored pitches like steyn, and he showed in champions trophy , he was the best, that is Ishant!

Posted by ProdigyA on (October 17, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Ishant reminds me of the kid Ishaan from the move Taare Zameen Par. No matter what he just couldn't catch a ball or chuck it in the right direction. A headless workhorse who just cannot learn. It's a wiring issue that he cannot help. Bring in Unatkad, he looked promising in Zim.

Posted by InsideHedge on (October 17, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Let's not forget that Ishant is a poor fielder and he can't hold a bat to save his life. Has anyone ever seen him in the nets working on his batting? I've seen English bowlers like Steve Finn and others numerous times in the nets with batting coach Gooch, not just before a day's Test but often in the middle of the day, even when the bowler in question is the 12th man.

Yet, even outgoing bowling coach Eric Simmons (an intelligent man) claimed Ishant was just "unlucky". Err no, it's us fans who are unlucky, we've had to witness his mediocrity for too many years. Thank You to Mr. Purohit for the article too.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Well said, Anilkp! Hopefully Aaron will be fit for selection soon. Is it just a coincidence that Ishant bowls much better for DC/Sunrisers than for India? Perhaps the way he trains while bowling for India and the way he trains while bowling for DC/Sunrisers is different. He would do well to bring in those methods. Of course bowling with someone like Steyn should be a life changing or rather career changing experience. I just hope he improves and adds to our fast bowling reserves.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

Ishant needs to go...he has to...bcoz while observing the scorecard of both the matches....ishant hasnt bowled his quota of 10 ovrs and still has gone for 60,70- odd runs which is just not acceptable.....this puts pressure on dhoni as to who he must rely on as a gud death bowler...ishants not leraning and surely is not the solution........pathetic............and ishant still gets in the team...what has mishra done wrong?????

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Sandeep patil, i have faith in you! please get rid of Ishant Sharma, he is not India's spearhead, he is our pear head. Just about anyone would do in his place

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

Dhoni judged very well by selecting these three bowler swing bowler(Bhuvi),fast bowler(Ishant),seam bowler(vinay)..r ...Ashwin and jadu is the best spinning combination for india...great squad..No changes required

Posted by vrn59 on (October 17, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

Ishant should be dropped from all three formats immediately! He is an absolutely useless player with literally no attributes going in his favour: he doesn't swing the ball or extract any lateral movement off the seam, he's lost his pace, he's tall but still doesn't seem to able to use bounce as a weapon. He is a lousy fielder regardless of which position he's put in and doesn't contribute at all with the bat either. He has played over 50 Tests and has extensive limited-overs experience but still emerges as a raw cricketer: one that hasn't learned from his mistakes and matured with time, but in fact regressed to even worse levels of form and fitness. He has no leadership skills as a senior bowler should. He is neither a wicket-taker nor a container of runs. A handful of decent ODIs earlier this year mean nothing. He should be dropped instantly, and maybe be appointed a personal coach to alter his approach to the game. I don't like criticizing endlessly but Ishant really deserves it.

Posted by android_user on (October 17, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

ishant is one hell of waste that the team had been boring on their heads till now. 6 years is too long to have given the chances. it's better to make him bowl in the nets so the batsmen could be benefited. call back committed players like zaheer, umesh, shami, or even the young guns like jayadev. captain should talk to them during the game abd correct their mistakes if not. neither of them are happening at the moment. definitely ishant is unfit to play. get rid of him Team India.

Posted by kevivnajar on (October 17, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

Ishanth is bad. agreed. why no one is speaking about ashwin? 60 ODI's - still not a single 5 wicket haul. earlier he use to bowl in powerplays. now that also not effective. We need a leg break bowler in ODI's in his place. For test matches - he is the best we have now.

Posted by nainil0683 on (October 17, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

An absolute waste of a bowler. Makes me laugh when he calls himself the spearhead of the team. Absolutely no control over his line and length. How can a so called "spearhead" bowl 2 full-tosses and 2 wides in the last over. Every time he picks the ball in his hands, Australians (and in fact all the batsmen in the world) would lick their lips as they know they will have flurry of HIT-ME PLEASE balls coming their way. I would even try out Joginder Sharma (hero of the inaugural Twenty-20 World Cup) in place of Ishant. If not better, he can be no worse than Ishant. What wrong has Mohammad Shami and Jaidev Unadkat have done to see this "spearhead" leak runs after runs. I think Ishant should consider taking Bowling 101 lessons from Bhuvenshwar who even though have give away few runs, but is in complete control over his bowling. Dhoni needs to open his eyes and pick the correct choice.

Posted by VVSR92 on (October 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

Ishanth never seems like a bowler who can bowl in death.he always losses his rythm in T20s & ODIs.He bowls at same place eventhough he is being hit & does not try to vary.He should not be a part of limited overs format unless he reinvents his bowling.He is a good prospect in tests and maybe presreved for the longer format.If he plays in odi's he should bowl out his spell before death.Else batsmen smell blood when he comes on to bowl & make merry

Posted by annys on (October 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

first thing ishanth needs is a hair cut, i mean the energy he spends on his hair if he utilises the same for coming with a better bowling plan he will improve atleast by 50%

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

The only plus ishant has his height and a tiny bit extra pace compared to other indian bowlers. I dont think he deserve a birth in final eleven. All his bowls are ordinary and if he get a wicket its 80% of mere luck.

Posted by nrgknale on (October 17, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

Ishan't infamous work ethic aside the bitter truth is that he's just not good enough. Bhuvanesh Kumar is a talented kid, but if there's no lateral movement he is extremely vulnerable to a mauling. I think the current conundrum in the development of Indian fast bowlers is the lack of support at a young age (14-15) and over coaching at an older age. The only way to develop a talented pace bowling pool is to provide fitness and nutritional education at a young age and then let kids develop their own style before upper level coaching. For instance a bowler with hyperflexed joints like Sreesanth (his stupidity aside) would have been far more successful with a semi side on- round arm- slingy action rather than his blatantly over coached high arm straight body approach. But coming back to the main topic: Ishant simply has no place in the side.

Posted by Nadeem_Jaffery on (October 17, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

I think Indian pace bowlers are missing a legacy. Look at Pakistan, we keep churning in good pacemen. Imran, Sarfaraz, Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib are all history now. Two very talented bowlers (Asif and Amir) are sitting out due to their misdeeds. Umer Gul is down with injury. Yet only Irfan and Junaid are able to run through South Africa twice in a match. Off course Pakistan spinners are also a class apart from the rest of the sub-continent sides, yet to win a Test match with SA with using just four specialist bowlers is a story in itself. India should look to Kapil and Srinath for inspiration. IPL & T20 is not going to help India in the fast bowling department.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

It's not problem of Ishant or Umesh or Pathan, it's the problem of every Indian bowler. Look at the number of matches India play in a year. The bowlers hardly get the chance to recover themselves. Players like Umesh Yadav,Praveen Kumar,Aaron,Pathan Mithun had a great start to the career but due to the cruel schedule their speed got affected. Bowlers need rest and space to try new deliveries. Bowling at 140+ Kmph isn't a easy task. BCCI has to take initiative to protect the bowlers. The bowlers should be rotated so that everybody gets chance and also proper rest.

Posted by Neal74 on (October 17, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

As Sourav ganguly said "Natural talent and getting gifted players is something that cannot happen with planning. You cannot fight an AK 47 with a pistol, can you? ".He is a hardworker but not a naturally talented person. The misery part is he does not even know how to hard work or how to use his brain to improve his skills.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (October 17, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

Ishant Sharma is a classic example of "over-rewarding" a youngster. He bowled ONE great spell to Ponting, and luckily for him the IPL auctions was there in 2 months. He got a $850,000 contract(4th highest) for KKR for 3 years, and that made him an instant millionaire when all that he had done in cricket is..ONE great spell!!! And that arrogance is manifested in his send-offs and glares even after getting wickets off long hops. Compare his strike rate and average to the much-maligned and recently retired Ajit Agarkar(a bloke who was not full of himself and did the ball do the talking). The selectors musnt tolerate such passengers in the team, at a time when the team is doing great. Send him to bowl for Delhi and give chances to the hardworking Mohit or Pandey or Mithun(who did little wrong in the one test he played on a dead colombo wicket)

Posted by Sagarneel on (October 17, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

If Ishant Sharma is the spearhead of Indian bowling, I'm the field marshal of the Indian army!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

3.YUVRAJ IS UNLIKELY TO TACKLE QUALITY FAST/SPIN BOWING. 4. RAINA IS UNLIKELY TO TACKLE QUALITY PACE BOWLING. So far, the players (we have) who can play quality fast bowling are Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Dhoni (he stays as he is the capt/WK) The selectors should give more chances to Dinesh kartik, Pujara, Rahane etc. someone who has the technique. R.Jadeja was in the team for a long time without performing. So why can't Pujara be given a longer run to prove himself? Rohit proved himself after a long try; the logic is simple because he has the technique. As long as the selectors don't realize the facts, INDIA CANNOT WIN THE WORLD CUP and we Indians have to prepare our mind for a big disappointment

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

If India were to perform well in the WC 2015, there are a few facts the selectors have to realize. The facts, 1.ISHANT SHARMA IS UNLIKELY TO EVOLVE AS A QUALITY BOWLER 2.VINAY KUMAR IS UNLIKELY TO PRODUCE GOOD BOWLING WITH HIS PACE You can get a good bowler only if you search vigorously at the domestic level (we got Bhuvi, less than a year ago). Let Zak make a comeback if he still has the fire(to perform) in him.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

It was common for old lions to lose teeth. Nowadays, young lions are also losing teeth, even before they catch a decent number of preys, to earn the sobriquet of a good hunter. Still worse; many NEW lions are walking into the jungle for hunting their prey WITHOUT ANY TEETH ! And the jungle wardens are allowing them to walk in, without actively looking for cubs with sharp teeth, feed them (continuously, not just for a few days now and then), and motivate them to become good hunters.

Unfortunately we are not Pakistan, which seem to be a natural habitat to produce good hunting lions with teeth -- almost like a factory's assembly line.

Posted by Spartan.challa on (October 17, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

The worrying aspect of Ishanth's bowling is no variety. He bowls short and wide 5 out 6 times which makes him predictable and easy to hit for runs. With his natural ability to nip the ball back into the right hander, he should try to bowl full length and use a 'well-directed' short ball to surprise the batsmen and get wickets. Another aspect is 'YORKER'. Every match I watch, I hope to see atleast one bowler actually bowling an 'YORKER' which is such a potent weapon in any form of cricket. Its a million dollar question if 'coaches' ever ever remind the fast bowlers that there is something called 'Yorker' in cricket?

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

The BCCI should be spending far more of their revenue on fast bowling camps. They need to find talent from throughout the country and foster and nurture it. It not enough to find a tall fast bowler (Ishant) or someone who bowls quicker than the rest (Kumar), there's much more to it - raw talent is not enough. Everything needs to fall into place and become disciplined.

They mustn't be afraid to bring in outside help either. If a bowler were to master the speed and accuracy or a Steyn or an Akram on Indian pitches, they could be incredibly destructive abroad.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

i dont understand why indian selectors are so much interested in ishant sharma while they have very fine bowlers such as sami, yadav dhawan kulkarni and many more. sami and umesh yadav is far better than ishant sharma. ishant sharma has horrible ODI records.

Posted by InsideHedge on (October 17, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Let's not forget that Ishant is a poor fielder and he can't hold a bat to save his life. Has anyone ever seen him in the nets working on his batting? I've seen English bowlers like Steve Finn and others numerous times in the nets with batting coach Gooch, not just before a day's Test but often in the middle of the day, even when the bowler in question is the 12th man.

Yet, even outgoing bowling coach Eric Simmons (an intelligent man) claimed Ishant was just "unlucky". Err no, it's us fans who are unlucky, we've had to witness his mediocrity for too many years. Thank You to Mr. Purohit for the article too.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

Ishant Shrma is (was) a good bowler , he is not learning from his mistakes . How long can the team carry on with a bowler who is not able to correct himself for his FINAL OVERS bowling. HE SURELY needs to be sent back to the Domestic Circuit where he has to work on harder.

Does he really know where he wants to bowl at the time of Delivery , I think his long hair hides his vision , which makes him spill the ball all over( Just for fun).

We Indians are happy that we chased down the target with ease , but our bowling needs a lot of rebuilding.

Hope Mr. Patil who is a Keen observer will make the changes and give More chance to YOUNG BOWLERS. Moreover what difference does it make if they go for runs as the senior bowlers are themselves going for plenty , at-least the young bowlers will learn fast.

Posted by InsideHedge on (October 17, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

(Contd) Note, Ishant hardly dismissed Ponting during that Oz series.We can excuse the initial excitement but it didn't take long for fans to see that he was a clueless bowler who lacked any kind of game plan, neither an away moving delivery to the ubiquitous RH batsman or adjustment of length according to the surface presented to him.

Whether he bowled in India or Australia, England or South Africa, it mattered not a jot to our Ishant. The man ran in and bowled the same delivery 6 times in succession, every game, every series, every year.

Posted by BigINDFan on (October 17, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Ishant should play Eng county cricket so that he can improve his action, his body language and consistency. Then claim his spot in the team just like Zak did a while ago. Bhuvi should be groomed as the spearhead.

Posted by InsideHedge on (October 17, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

It all started with the ridiculous hype during and after his maiden tour to Oz. Indian bowling standards had dropped so low that just bowling a "good spell" to a class batsman such as Ponting earned him outrageous rave reviews from both CricInfo writers and the its "knowledgeable" commenters.

It also earned him a lucrative $900K IPL contract. He's been laughing at us for years now.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

bowling spearhead???!! iam don bradman & iam writing frm heaven!!! a fast bowler needs 5 qualities. pace, swing, bounce, line & length & a good wrist position & release. spearhead has none of d above qualities!! 1 more test & he'll play same no. of tests as me?!!! he is so lucky 2 play for india & has d worst strikerate of all bowlers above 50 tests. the guy who got ponting 8 times is long gone & this guy is an imposter!!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

try youngsters.... unfortunately... there are few fast bowlers in india right now...few to name...mohit, unadkat,... sorry... i couldnt mention even two names... thats really pathetic... lets puts i spinner more on first eleven...

Posted by vivekjagan on (October 17, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

the indian seletors has to think for the bowling prospects too other than batting at no4.. they ve to bring in new fast bowlers and try them with one or two series.Dhoni is not even giving chance for the players in squad. Mishra is not given a chance even once.the article says abt ishant ,but what is ashwin and vinay kumar doing in the playing 11. spinners like rasool,tambe,mishra have to be given chance. and they need to have a pool of fast bowlers who are ready to perform anytime ,with the amount of performing batsmen these pool of bowlers will definitely increase the chances of india winning the worldcup in aus-nz

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Totally agree wid Aanand kumar

Posted by android_user on (October 17, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

drop Ishant and call back zahirkhan

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Bring back Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan in for B. Kumar and the awful Ishant Sharma. Ravindra Jadeja should also be replaced with a batting all rounder.

Posted by kahvas on (October 17, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Ishant sharma needs to go. I mean, looking at the last match, if he was an aussie or maybe in the SL team, he may have been close to a spearhead but for the love of India he needs to retire. He's competing with Malinga to be the most butchered bowler. Since Malinga gets butchered repeatedly not only by India, but we saw even Samuels used him as a weak link under pressure, there are similarities in the way both are treated by batsman. But India cant afford him, and SL have no options.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

He is the best that India has got at the moment, by Looking at Indian bowlers performance in Domestic tournaments including IPL and also recent CLT20I do not see any alternative.

Remember Wasim Akram at one point acknowledged that Zaheer & Ishant are the best bowling pair in world cricket around 2009 !

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (October 17, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Anyone coming from Delhi is always full of runs. Example Kohli, Sehwag & Gambhir in their prime.......Nehra, Ishant.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

the main problem i c with ishant is, his hair. he need a good haircut and bowling will b better then..

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

Ishant is lucky to have been born in India. Any other country, and he could only dream of still being in the national cricket team.

Posted by bbnn on (October 17, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

Get Rahul Shukla,Rishi Dwhawan and Dhawal Kulkarny along with Mohith and Buvaneswar kumar this will be the core bowling unit for India

Posted by bbnn on (October 17, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Isanth' s wrist position is not good when he delver the ball and he delivering the ball sideways not from the height and that is nullifying the advantage of height God provided to him he should see Videos of Sreeshanth delivering ball in Jburg and Durban test or better watch some videos of Jasen Gillespie the Aussies bowler

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

INDIAS bad luck is Ishant sharma ,Srisahanth and IFRANPATHAN have not maintained their consistency .Let them try another bowlers .By 2015 we need four good fast bowleres

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Ishant Sharma has been given a long rope for a bit too long. Strange are the Indian selectors whims and fancies. On what basis is he being given the long run? Selectors , apart from talent, should also take a look a the "heart" of a player. There have been times when genuine triers, albeit players with lesser talent, have been dumped at the first instance. A good example is Sanjay Bangar. He was never given enough time to establish himself, which he could have had he got the same kind of backing. Even a bits and pieces all rounder like Stuart Binny would have taken more wickets than Ishant Sharma had been given the same no of chances, apart from contributing some valuable runs too!!!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

I admire Dhoni's and the selectors' belief in Ishant. He's certainly has the potential to become India's spearhead and has the history to show why he's so important to India's bowling lineup.But every cricketer has to undergo a rough patch and the selectors clearly understands this and gives him ample opportunities, hoping he would get back into form.But at tough times like this, I personally feel that he should be given a break from international cricket and try to build a new phase in his career,by playing Domestic cricket and even some county cricket, and at the same time,trying 2 improve his pace, which was certainly his strength way back in 2007, as you clearly pointed out.Meanwhile,upcoming bowlers like Mohit and Unadkat,should also be given opportunities as they're the future of Indian cricket.Hopefully, bad times would get over for Ishant and the bowling attack really soon and and I have faith in selectors to continue giving us the best team they possibly can.

Posted by Juniorklassy on (October 17, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

Excuse Me, Ishant Sharma - Spearhead of Indian bowling ????? Then Surely i am the greatest Batsman of All times ...... He should be dropped with Immediate effect from ODI / T20 / Test ... his record in test is also pathetic, 140 odd wickets with an avg of 30 + .. still cant believe, why is he still in the TEAM ?????

Posted by CherryWood_Champion on (October 17, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

We should give Ishwar Pandey a chance, was really impressed with his pace and bowling in the A-tour to South Africa and has been consistently taking wickets in domestic matches too. Ideally we should develop a pool of pace bowlers and nurture them so that they are not injury prone by rotating. A fit again Zaheer should easily walk into our team now. My pool based on the current form would be in the order of Zaheer, Bhuvi, Ishwar Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Varun and Ishant

Posted by sony_sr on (October 17, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

mohit sharma is a long term prospect. if guided properly, mohit sharma, iswar pandey and shami ahmed can develop into high quality bowlers.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

Imtiaz Ahmed,Ishwar Pandey,Mohit Sharma,Suryakant Pradhan,Sandeep Warrier,Sandeep Sharma,Ronit More,Pawan Suyal,Siddarth Kaul,Shadab Nazar,Pankaj Singh and many other bowlers are waiting for their chances.Many of them can bowl quick,some of them are tall,some of them can swing the ball. But it is condemnable that none of them are even close to selection and we are sticking to same ishant and vinay saying that they are promising and talented.Out of 1.25 billion people,we may have the strongest bowling unit in the world but the way bowlers are demoralised,if this continues,one day we won't have even reserve bowlers.5-10 matches are enough to justify selection. We gave chance to bhuvi,and now he is premier bowler for india.There are several bhuivis waiting.

Posted by pull_shot on (October 17, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

He doesn't think before bowling most of his deliveries r short and wide now a days no pace at all please ishant for love of indian cricket give retirement because dhoni will give u chance by chance

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

I guess the main problem with Ishant is that he is too predictable.. it was not a problem when he was new as most batsmen had no idea what to expect, but with time, he has overused his one weapon - bounce off the deck - ad infinitum. He doesn't have anything new to offer, nor is it likely that this will change anytime soon. Move over Ishant, make way for more talented bowlers!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

I would not only agree with the author but also regard him being modest for not criticizing Ishant Sharma upfront. If Agarkar (I am not referring him because hi retired) was not considered to be playing, then why Ishant. Agarkar used to get wickets at the beginning and would not have bowled 'club me for 6s" bowls. The spearhead of an attack clubbed for 6s is shame. None of the other team spearhead would be hit the way Ishant is being clubbed. A county season would be great for him, but the problem is none of the county team will even consider him even if he volunteers to play free. May be he needs to play gullly cricket to gain some street smartness. May be send him to Pakistan for a year. Anywas the big question for Indian pace battery is "Can't you guys practice bowling block-hole if not yorkers?"

Posted by Ryan_H on (October 17, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

I wonder if Dhoni and Ishant share the same management/PR company that gets them contracts ? I feel by not pulling out Ishant Sharma selectors are blocking other talented players from getting a career and earning well.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

Looks like Umesh Yadav's career will be scuttled now. It is like there is some conspiracy to nip the fast bowlers before they get a chance to rise up and stabilize.

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 17, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

Some people have all the luck in the world.

Posted by hhillbumper on (October 17, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

If Ishant is your spear head than good help the rest of your bowlers.They must be bad. On a serious note though gladly keep picking him cause one day you might get a performance.

Posted by switchmitch on (October 17, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Ishant is an infuriatingly bad bowler. He will never become a good bowler simply because he refuses to use his brain to improve his craft. He will continue to dish up the same drivel for as long as he plays.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

AS insightful as the article is, I don't think that anyone following India n Cricket would be surprised by the stats that Ishant Sharma is woeful compared to his partner at the other end. The real question is who will replace him as a "fast bowling" spearhead ? ZKhan is on his way out and the rest of the hopefuls - the various Kumars -B,V,P, Msharma et. all are mostly pace limited smart bowlers rather than out and out spearheads. Dinda has been disappointing way too often and no other speed junkie has really materialized. MRF foundation are you listening?

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

ishant sharma is doing his level best in emulating sir aggy (ajit agarkar) in his twilight years of intl cricket.

Posted by TRAM on (October 17, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

I dont see any comment at the top in the "Featured Comment" section. I guess that is because absolutely NO ONE has said anything positive or constructive about Ishant. Some one please try. There has to be something that Ishant does that is useful for Indian cricket.

Posted by anoop3301 on (October 17, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

A very well written article. But the best part was the snap having Ishant's face almost fully covered by his hair. That says it all. He doesn't see the batsman or the stumps when he bowls and has no brain to understand it.

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (October 17, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

Hear hear indeed. B Kumar and U Yadav should be first choice for any match irrespective of format. God knows when India'll find the replacement / 3rd seamer.

Posted by cnksnk on (October 17, 2013, 13:34 GMT)

Ishant bowled the one good spell and marked as a prospect. In 2008 he came back from Australia and joined KKR in IPL and started leaking runs. Has not stopped since. Also I am not too sure who gave him the fancy role as bowling spear head. I have not heard any one else referring to him as spearhead , ever, and for any team. Iam sure both he and Vinay will be dropped for ODIs 4 - 7 and thank God for that

Posted by Nampally on (October 17, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Abhishek, I like to add a word of advise for Ishant. He should watch some of the old videos of an Indian pace bowler, Ramakant Desai in early 60's. This guy was from Bombay- 5-4", about 120 lbs. and a chest of <30". He took a long run & his bumpers were so lethal that he terrorised some of the best batsmen in the world with them just short of length & kicking up nastily @135kph into the batsmen's chest area. If Ishant persists in short pitched bowling at least take a page our of "Bumper" Desai's book & learn to bowl such stuff. Desai bowled a couple of bumpers/over but rest of the time he bowled length with good variation of swing. Unfortunately, Desai died young just like the great Amar Singh - another legendary fast bowler of 30's.

Posted by CricketChat on (October 17, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Ishant doesn't deserve to be in the team. The main issue for me is that he is very expensive in any format which means he is not building pressure on batsmen which, most of the time, leads to their downfall. Even if he takes on odd wkt or two once in a while, it doesn't help his team's cause. Ind do have other pace bowling options, so why not give them a go? They can't do any worse than Sharma.

Posted by USIndianFan on (October 17, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

Main issue is that India need to experiment with their pace lineup. Don't know who is there but there must be. Don't know what has happened to Ishant, but he used to be a good bowler. Probably needs to be told to focus on pace and line and will be like he used to be... In the meanwhile let him compete and prove himself for the position.

Posted by ActionJacksonMan on (October 17, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

I firmly believe that if Ishant Sharma had not bowled that one spell to Ricky Ponting in Perth, he would have faded into obscurity, YEARS ago. As much as anything, it's an eternal testament to just how much Indians enjoy seeing Ricky Ponting being dismissed.

Posted by Abhishek.2626 on (October 17, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

Finally someone writes an article on Ishant's ability and being over-rated. I d say "yes sir" to every word the author has said here. Its so apt. He doesnt deserve to be in the squad in the first place. I agree we lack good fast bowlers, but that doesnt been you keep givin innumerable chances to someone who has failed on numerous occasions. Hightime he is dropped and asked to prove his mettle at the domestic level against other bowlers.. like how Sehwag or Gambhir r doing.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (October 17, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

He needs to evolve or be shown the door. His 2013 nos are probably better than earlier, but clearly he can not bowl to any plan. He had talent, if only he could deliver.... Sigh....

Posted by Shikhy Aggarwal on (October 17, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

ishant sharma should be given some time for self concentration and should be allowed to look for his own mistakes and identify them himself. this can be done by dropping him for six months, giving a chance at domestic level and should be kept as a backup for the 2015 wc where pacers have a role to play as he would have a massive role to play if the selectors dont get zak back into the team. till then bhuvi can lead the attack(although he is inexperienced). he would also improve just like rohit did. when rohit was given a responsibility, he evolved as a batsman and cricketer.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Well, Ishant is the worst "frontline fast bowler" in history to have played 50 test matches. Why do we expect him to change himself drastically while playing odi cricket..??

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

Even this 38 average in test matches are misleading, most of his wickets in test matches are also of tail enders

Posted by Nampally on (October 17, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

The policy of keeping Ishant Sharma in the Indian XI is hurting India very badly. It clearly gives the message to Ishant that you can bowl at 8 to 12 runs/over in the short format & still retain his place in the XI. This is the sole reason why Ishant has not improved nor does he show signs of improvement. He wasted his height with short pitched bowling with no control in direction. I am sad to see the talent of so many younger bowlers being wasted at the expense of retaining bowlers Ishant in the XI. Vinay Kumar is the other guy who is following Ishant's footsteps encouraged by the Selectors lax policies. Young bowlers like Pandey, Kulkarni. Shukla, Unadkat, Mohit Sharma, are all promising prospects but denied of opportunities beyond India A. Even aging ZAK at 34 is better than Ishant right now. The worst of Ishant is his unkempt hair. A good trimming of his hair might help him use his brain more which seems to be lacking in his bowling!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

if he was in Pakistan , i can bet he wud ve been sidelined in the mid of his first class career ...put aside a thought of giving him a chance in the national bowling attack ..... umesh yadav and varun are the two guys i wud like to see in the indian attack , i ve seen them bowl in the nets at MRF pace academy .... make way for one of them and groom them , i can bet they can do better than ishant ,provided dhoni gives them their deserved chances .... pakistan-fan

Posted by Malti65 on (October 17, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

This discussion of Ishant Sharma is a waste of excercise as he will simply continue in the and keep playing in the same fashion. If a man does not learn in 6 years, he never will. He has played alongside Zaheer & others for a long time but still behaves like an 18 year old playing his debute match.

But the what has happened to Praveen Kumar? He can surely replace Vinay Kumar if not Ishant Sharma. I think Praveen is clearly better than both.

Also I am starting to get a littel worried about Ashwin.

Posted by RajeshNaik on (October 17, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

The article gives out stats after stats to prove Ishant's ineffectiveness and also to prove how good Bhuvaneshwar is. Stats can't be taken in to consideration to judge the effectiveness of a player. We often look only at bowling figures but overlook the cricketing sense displayed by the player. I would say Bhuvaneshwar was responsible for Australia scoring 350+ runs in 2nd ODI. He twice wandered too much inside from boundary. On one occasion there was chance of him taking Finch's catch if he had stayed on the boundary. He did not learn from this. He repeated the mistake and on the 2nd occasion dropped a crucial catch of Maxwell. How many runs these 2 mistakes cost India? Has the writer bothered about it? Ishant took 2 catches on the edge of the boundary and saved many runs that way. Let the team worry about the selection. Dhoni knows what he is doing. Let us not do PR for our favourite players. Bhuvi is a damn good bowler but that should not hide his mistakes. Vicious article.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

I agree with you, n we need to drop Ishant n bring in Amit Mishra....in ODIs

Posted by satishchandar on (October 17, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

The famous words Warne said on Monty comes to mind.. Ishant has not played 66 ODIs but played same ODI 66 times.. The problem with including Mohit for Ishant is assumed to be weakened death bowling as Mohit and Bhuvi are of same breed - best with new ball.. But when the third seamer is Ishant, it doesn't make any difference to the scoreline if Mohit or Bhuvi gets carted around.. Also, it would give you more chance to pick up wickets with new ball - certainly it will better than Ishant.. Dhoni for some reason backs certain players who have proved him right after a certain point of time like Jadeja and Rohit.. Idhant doesn't evoke same confidence.. Atleast Jadeja added value as fielder and Rohit always looked talented.. Ishant??

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

contd. Shami is a talent and need to be persevered with. Sreesanth was one of our best we lost to spot fixing. I think I have covered most of the fast bowlers who played for India during the recent 10 years. Agarkar who has recently retired was one of the best we had for limited overs when you compare him to these guys at present. Only B.Kumar looks like he has the ability to learn from his mistakes but not V.Kumar and I.Sharma. Like one of my colleagues suggested on this forum, one needs to try out different things. Why not try Rajat Bhatia as a bowler? He is a proven and experienced guy who never got the chance he deserved. He is a batting allrounder but he is a more than handy bowler who will not fare worser than the Sharmas and the Kumars. Also he provides you with a deeper batting line-up. Dhawal Kulkarni, Pawan Suyal Rishi Dhawan Mohit Sharma are some of the other guys we can focus on developing for the future. But can we thats the biggest question!!!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

guys wat abt zak.............we need him atleast 2015...b'coz he know when to bowl such delivery in crucial stages'

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

@IndianInnerEdge, Can't even compare him with Irfan Pathan. IP is a far better bowler than him and can also bat like No.6. Its good to say Chappel had spoiled Irfan by concentrating more on his batting unncessarily. And now Ishant, very confused, short in cofidence and also looks like he forgot how to bowl line and length, which he is known to bowl in domestic. I still remember in one of the domestic match Vs Andhra, Shabuddin was playing so good and they needed about 10 runs in the last over of the FC match and Ishanth who was just a teenager at that time bowled like Mcgrath. All the 6 deliveries were like how McGrath bowls. Shabuddin was not even able to touch the ball and match was a draw.

Posted by arnav.c on (October 17, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

Gosh....Ishant has played 51 test matches??????Cant bowl (either swing or pace), cant bat , cant field . Plus he glares at the batsman , as if he had just bowled a delivery at 150kmp+ !!! Needs a hair cut certainly...When Sehwag/Gambhir who are proven match winners have been chucked out and rightly so, why is Dhoni going with Ishant??? Yuvraj, the hero of T20 WC(2007) and WC 2011 was asked to prove form and fitness...., so why not Ishant ,whose only claim to fame is have taken ponting's wicket after repeatedly beating him.. God save our WC 2015 if ishant is still in the team

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

Ishant Sharma needs to be sent back to domestic cricket ASAP and asked to get a haircut. How can one see where he is pitching the ball with that dreadful lock of hair? The problem is that India has promising fast bowlers but somehow they are not developing and maturing into world class fast bowlers. Exceptions were Srinath and Zaheer along with Kapil Dev. Promise takes you only that far and after that it is the experience and maturity that counts. Where have all the promising guys disappeared? What happened to a talent like Munaf Patel, R.P. Singh, Sudeep Tyagi? Why Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan are always injured? Nehra faltered with his fitness, so did Balaji. Agarkar was inconsistent. VRV Singh? Manpreet Gony? Awana? Dinda? Mithun? These guys are there but have not developed? Yadav the most promising fast bowler has been dropped saying he leaks runs but he gives as much as Ishant does and he gives you wickets as well. Unadkat is just a run of the mill bowler. Shami is a talent contd.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

Ishant or whomsoever it may be, when Dhoni likes one he is in and always in and if he doesn't like then he is out and always out. How many of you will agree with my comment?

Posted by Sumeer1000 on (October 17, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

I think this is a great article and really highlights the issues with Ishant. For me Ishant's continued inclusion in the team highlights the dearth of bowling options open to India (in all forms of cricket). It's sad given that in from about 2002 - 2011 we had finally developed a number of fast bowling options (was this down to the MRF Pace Academy and our coaches there?). I would also like to see our fast bowlers doing a stint in County cricket too (and other places) - this helped people like Zaki and RP Singh in particular.

Posted by naveenarn on (October 17, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Ishant is defntly a over-rated bowler and should be dropped from the Indian team with immediate effect. I dont understand why Dhoni is protecting him so much. When people like shewag/gambir are dropped for non performance, so should Ishant be... He was never a spearhead of the indian attack. He has played so many matches for India and still looks like a ordinary or a third bowler.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

Ishant is much overrated.. He had his chances.. Mohit sharma is the man of the match in his debut odi n he gets dropped.. It is not fair... And vinay kumar also had been given too many odi chances.. Even against zimbave he went for runs... next match bhuvi,unadkat and shahmi ahmed should play.. After 3rd odi drop Ishanth,and vinay bring back Mohit n Zak....for me zak should play 2015 wc.. Let him give retirement in tests and t20s and concentrate primarily on odis till 2015 wc... Let we have bhuvi,ishant ,umesh,ishwar pandey,shahmi ahmed as our test bowling prospects...

Posted by ninad008 on (October 17, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Although this article emphasises on the fact that Ishant is ineffective in ODIs, the real problem lies in his Test performance. A bowling average of 38 after 50 tests says it all. The selectors really need to look beyond him for the tests against the West Indies.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (October 17, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Borrowing from Shane Warne: Ishant has not played 66 ODIs. He has played one ODI 66 times.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

i mean,come on,who gets to play 51 tests averaging 38 per wicket and that too, for a supposed spearhead!...he must be one hell of a lucky guy!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

The article is surely well written and to add to the point "Ishant Sharma and Vinay kumar both are not getting respect of the top order batsman which they surely not deserve but also lower order batsman are whacking them for 12-15 runs per over which is just disgusting as we say in the 1st ODI where any other team would have stopped them under 280 And the so called spearhead celebrates wicket of tailender as if he dismissed world's best batsman (please note that tailenders would also considered themselve a top batsman while playing against Ishant and Vinay).........

There is no point by making players like Amit Mishra , Unadkat and Shami sit on dressing table becoz of MSD's so called stick to a same team concept as it will only demoralize them and eventually all 3 would be out of team for next 4 onedayers....

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

I beg to differ with some of the comments here, but I don't really think Shami is good enough for international cricket... sure, he bowls at a decent pace, but he doesn't possess the variations or swing to trouble the best... Zaheer should be given a lifeline since he is the closest that we have to a quality death bowler(some of his last 10 over spells in the 2011 WC against Aus, Eng etc were second to none)...Bring in Mohit Sharma, because, in spite of his limited pace, he has excellent control and extracts movement off the pitch which can be really effective and can make a difference in high scoring games...and Bhuvi has done a superb job so far..Dhoni is really unfair in criticizing him and shielding Ishant! Being predominatly an exponent of swing, Bhuvi has given it all in each match and he should be a fixture in this line up.. Drop Ishant...have Umesh, Varun Aaron, Unadkat and Shami in the reserve pool! These guys should serve Ind for atleast the next 7 years...

Posted by PPL11 on (October 17, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

Ishant must have some close connection is MSD - Else there is no way he should be in TEST or ODI team... Useless

Posted by Rick777 on (October 17, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

He needs a short hair cut badly. It will for sure give him authority when bowling. Even the image in this article gives the answer to his failures.

Posted by tauhid_aks on (October 17, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Ishanth sharma reminds us Bangladeshis of Shahadat Hossain. Tall but a complete failure in terms of bowling.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

I don't understand why Indian selector much more chance to Ishant Sharma.... There are few other good bowlers are available in domestic cricket.. they are much more capable instead of Ishant...So why give him chance to play in Test and ODI.. Ishant Sharma not deserving his place in any format of cricket at that time...Indian captain and selectors must be drop him soon as possible.

Posted by vatsap on (October 17, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

Ishant is a very good test bowler. Playing meaningless ODI's and T20 spoils his bowling lines. Look a the way SA handle Steyn and Philander. It is better for the likes of Praveen Kumar to play ODIs. The other hell that Indian bowling has to go through in ODI's is bowling on tracks like the one in Jaipur. Every bowler got smashed, what is the point of a contest. This is the reason why lesser Indian batsmen adopt during overseas tours. No point blaming the bowlers.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

ishant sharma is the best fast bowler currently india have i guess!!

Posted by Gozunder on (October 17, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

@sandy_bangalore Great observation. Ishant Sharma just doesn't seem to learn, Joe Dawes must be struggling to get through to him. Ishant's been praised for having an excellent work ethic all the time, which is why Dhoni seems to favour him, but that alone wouldn't get him into even a 2nd XI club team, he's just plain inconsistent with his line and length, and doesn't have the brains to think batsmen out!

Posted by trev321ob on (October 17, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

spot on. Ishant is useless. Bring in Unadkat. Puzzling that Dhoni would ask more of Bhuv who plays his heart out and is the only decent bowler India has.

Posted by muru9999 on (October 17, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

I think that Ishant sharma is too overrated as a fast bowler, the fact is that he only bowls fast, netiher there is swing nor the length is right. It is high time BCCI take some action. Look at other bowlers and thier commitment for e.g Clint Mckay,Faulkner, or even Junaid khan, all are lesser experienced but more effective than Ishant!.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (October 17, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

ishant sharma, dinesh ramdin and rohit sharma (not now) are overratted players

Posted by whocareswhowins on (October 17, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Very good article. Totally agree. Ishant 'brain-dead' Sharma !!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

Mohit Sharma won Man of the match in Zimbabwe. Bowled well in his debut series Still dropped. Shami bowled better than Ishant Sharma yet he was dropped.

Posted by BharatKaSher on (October 17, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

Hmm... Mohit Sharma looked good in Zimbabwe wonder why he was dropped.India should look to build a pool of bowlers who need not be fast or express fast, we just need bowlers who are accurate with their light and length and not erractic like some in the current team.I think with accuracy everything else wil fall in place.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

give the chance to Rajat Bhatia.

Posted by vj3478 on (October 17, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

Ishanth current status is good for doing Complan ad or for any other hair related products. He is no more a bowler... I mean not a good/avg bowler

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (October 17, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

He has all the attributes for being a leading quickie of his type, he has to make up his mind if to be an out and out quickie (which he is not)...a swing bowler (again, he is not) he has to be a curtley ambrose/glenn mcg/srinath type bowler, getting batsmen on length bounce and on or off stump by mixing it up and mainly pitching it up. He does not pitch it up- bowls the same pathetic lot of codswaddle, which the batsmen thump. The main point in this is - what a waste of talent he is, just needs the right guidance - and the man required for people like him was Craig Mcdormat who now has once again been snapped up by Aus cricket board. If he does not rapidly improve, i see him rapidly becoming another Irfan pathan, over hyped and pathetically under performing.....Once again....what a waste - hope he gets guidance soon...

Posted by Charizard on (October 17, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

This self-proclaimed SPEARHEARD is not only blunt but rusted too...rather give a youngster an oppurtunity than going on with headless chicken.... Just run to the crease and throw the ball...thats all he knows...using the conditions, varying the length and speed that is not in his book.. I only know to bowl short, that all he says..

He is still ridiing on the performance in Aus, where is troubled Ponting He has the advantage of height but doesnt have the brain to use it all :)

Posted by Aarush_Basavaraj on (October 17, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

I think, Shami Ahmed, Jaidev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav should be looked in to, in place of Ishant Sharma.

Posted by KrishG on (October 17, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

Ishant failure is obvious to everyone except Dhoni

Posted by swagatsawant on (October 17, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

Ishant Is Primarily A Test Match Bowler. Better Keep Him Out Of Limited Overs Squads. Time Has Come For BCCI Or Shall We Say All The Cricket Boards To Go For Workload Management. They Also Have To Understand That Just Like Yuvrajs And Bevens Are Not Made For Test Cricket, It Goes Same About Ishants And Taits.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

He showed huge potential drawing Ponting but it diminished and now couldn't even find traces of it. He appears to be a headless chicken just running and throwing the ball.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (October 17, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

That picture shows exactly whats wrong. All that hair is coming in the way while he delivers, hence a haircut might help to improve his tally

Posted by ab_cricket on (October 17, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Its a shame that a bowler with limited ability has played 51 Tests for India.

Posted by Chak-De-India-Deux on (October 17, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

would love to know what Ishant has against Dhoni, Indian selectors and BCCI in general. First off he needs to be given a buzz cut then told to just bowl and not stare at the Batsman. Seriously after 6 years, 51 tests and 61 ODI's does he even has a stock wicket taking ball? Or an effective yorker. The Indian team is better off picking a random spectator to bowl in place of Ishant and that person would do better. And BTW way he cannot field (Dhoni was good fielders) and cannot bat. Really what does he have on Dhoni? I am actually very pro Dhoni but do not understand his high regard for Ishant.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (October 17, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

And the worst part is despite possessing such an awful record, his glares and send-offs to batsmen, who get out to long hops and wide balls, make one cringe. The one to Ravi Bopara in the champions trophy final was dreadful. He needs to be sent back to domestic cricket and selected if he improves his attitude and returns with a rich haul.

Posted by dakshinap on (October 17, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Ishant's strenth is bowl fast (140 km plus) with good line & length. Now, last his pace there is no agressive, no swing, no yorker. He is not deserved to be in the playing eleven. He should be replace someone like Umesh Yadav or Mohit Sharma or Ishwar Pandy or Rahul Shukla or Parvindar Awana. Not only Ishant, Vinay Kumar also should replace. He is a useles bowler. These twoes must be got out.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Excellent write up, spot on. Ishant should be dropped to try out newcomers like Unadkat or Shami. Even Mishra can be played as there is a possibility that he will trouble the Aussie left handers with his leg breaks

Posted by ball_boy on (October 17, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Hear hear,if Ashok Dinda gets these many chances he would perform better thanSharma plus he is a death bowler to the core capable of breaking partnerships

Posted by ThumpingWin on (October 17, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

Really nice article and this is what we as fans see Ishant sharma..Stare should be given to a batsman when you have bowled a fierce fast yorker or a wonderful slower ball or a thudding bouncer and above all when the batsman and the whole team is worried to play you..Its not when the opposition team starts celebrating when you come to bowl..We as fans get happy to see Ishant Sharma bowl only in IPL as they are bonus overs for our teams :):):)..

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

Well.. I am not sure about this. In 2013, Ishant is India's 2nd most successful bowler in terms of wickets.. In 19 matches, he has taken 30 wickets at an average of 28.4, which is pretty impressive.

He is the 7th highest wicket taker in ODIs in 2013, and out of the top 7 wicket-takers in 2013, he is only one (apart from Ravindra Jadeja) to get a Man of the Match solely for his bowling.

Posted by Gozunder on (October 17, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

Ishant Sharma has had more chances than Salil Ankola, David Johnson, Dodda Ganesh and the other forgotten lot of Indian fast bowlers. To start with, a haircut will do, and sitting on the sidelines will definitely serve as a stick up his backside! India's pace bowling stocks look light right now, but unless someone like a Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaaron (when fit of course) and blokes like Rahul Shukla, or even a Manpreet Gony (where the hell has he disappeared, tall bloke hit the deck kind of bowler) get their chances, India will always be complaining about not having fast bowlers!

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

overly hyped bowler... i never saw him bowling in the right line and length after the aussie tour. should have been dropped

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

Does Praveen Kumar have broken arms or something?

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Very true Ishant I do not understand why he is playing for India may be Dhoni has a soft corner for him he is not an ODI bowler get someone else replace Ashwin as well with Mishra as it is an 7 match ODI series and Ashwin has not been threatening at all in recent matches , pick up Shami Ahmed .

Posted by   on (October 17, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

really i dont understand, how ishant get chances in india and playing XI. he has not developed anything, but opponent batsman only getting development against ishant. pls drop him, even kohli or msd will bowl better than ishant. PLEASE DROP ISHANT, GET IN NEW GUY!!!!

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Tour Results
India v Australia at Bangalore - Nov 2, 2013
India won by 57 runs
India v Australia at Nagpur - Oct 30, 2013
India won by 6 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
India v Australia at Cuttack - Oct 26, 2013
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
India v Australia at Ranchi - Oct 23, 2013
No result
India v Australia at Mohali - Oct 19, 2013
Australia won by 4 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days