India news August 22, 2013

I love being the bowling spearhead - Ishant

ESPNcricinfo staff
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A year ago Ishant Sharma was struggling to find a place in the Indian team in any of the formats but has since graduated to being the senior quick in the side, and is looking forward to leading India's bowling on their tour of South Africa in November.

"I love being the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack and it is a privilege for any fast bowler," he told the Times of India. "At the same time it is better not to think about these things and stay focused. Yes, I have to be ready for India's big tour of South Africa, but before that we also have the Champions League T20 and the ODIs against the Aussies."

He had undergone surgery in March 2012, which put him out of cricket until August. Having described the time spent from the national side as the worst phase of his life, Ishant returned to the squad for the home series against New Zealand, but he was unable to make the XI. In December 2012, he was thrust with the responsibility of leading the Indian attack when Zaheer Khan was dropped for the Nagpur Test against England.

Ishant consulted a specialist in Melbourne in February this year after a recurrence of pain in his ankle following the one-dayers against Pakistan and England. But since then, he struck form and was one of the architects of India winning the Champions Trophy final. Ishant's injuries have made him well aware of the work quick bowlers need to put in to stay fit.

"Fast bowling is about having the requisite strength and I need to gain strength," he added. "I have to build on my speed and endurance. I'm following the fitness regimen devised by the coaches at the National Cricket Academy and I am working quite hard. I go to the gym in the morning then break for lunch and return to bowling in the afternoons. I also go for swimming and take ice baths after rigorous training sessions."

Since Zaheer was sidelined from the one-day side in August last year, Ishant has picked up 30 wickets at an average of 25.50 in 18 matches. But he has not been able to replicate that form in Tests, with 11 wickets in six matches. "In my first three years of international cricket, I grew under Zak. Whatever I am is because of him," he said. "He taught me how to bowl. Everything that I do on the field is what I learnt from him. It will be great to have him back."

Zaheer has recently returned to India after working with Tim Exeter, former member of the Scotland Rugby squad, to improve his fitness and stamina in the south of France.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tony_joe on August 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Really nice...to see a bowler giving the respect and being grateful to the senior in the team with whom he shouldered the responsibility of pace bowling for India. The way Inshant is grateful to Zaheer for his contributions in his development as a pace spearhead is really hearty.This binds a team together. Ishant was once hailed by Gary Kirsten as a very focussed and hard-working youth. At the age of just 20+ he has already played 50+ tests. With all these ups and downs in his career, I hope he improves going forward to be regarded as the most successful fast bowler from India.

  • Capricorn60 on August 24, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Admittedly like many Indian fans, I too get frustrated with Ishant's performances many a time but the guy is a whole-hearted trier & one of the fastest we have. It is not as if we have an abundance of genuine fast bowlers & this is why we struggle to bowl out sides - particularly in blasting out the opposition tailenders & in alien overseas conditions too - due to this dearth of fast bowling talent we have. With due respect, all these other bowlers put forward are all just medium pacers & are NOT going to do this job for us either! Ishant is only 25, probably will get still get better, hopefully start getting some luck too as he seems to be unlucky at times in not getting wickets his good bowling deserves & don't forget those two wickets in two balls that won us the Champions Trophy! So in view of this, let us support the big guy instead of constantly denigrating him which I frankly find quite tedious & annoying!

  • spot_on on August 24, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    This guy won't find a place in the XI if Dhoni thinks he doesn't need him. The odds of this are high. And people who want Umesh Yadav in tests, be sensible you guys, the guy is not fit for the longer format of the game, he will break down if he plays 3 consecutive days of cricket and doesn't have the technique for test cricket. We need bowlers who can bowl effortlessly and take wickets in Tests. I'll go with BK,Shami,Mohit and Ishwar(Zak as backup pacer, because the young lads have earned their places in the side and didn't take their places for granted like Zak did once)

  • Johnny_129 on August 24, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    India's 'pace' attack in SA should consist of Bhuvanesh, U Yadav, Ishant, Zaheer & Pandey. This attack, I believe, provides a very good balance of youth and experience, old ball (Zak & Ishant) and new ball (B Kumar & Yadav) combinations. With Pandey earning his spot. as back up, through his recent showing in SA.

  • anilkp on August 23, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Here is another sample: "bowling fast is my strength and that will remain so: Umesh Yadav", in Indian Express today. With a Test average of 32 (econ 4.2; over 6 in ODIs) he is our next best. If you leak over 4 runs overs after overs and taking an odd wicket here and there, how does it matter if bowling fast is your strength? You should use your brain to take wickets--no matter what your approach. What use if you bowl as fast as lightening? None of these leading Indian bowlers seem to be doing what they are supposed to be doing: take wickets while conceding as less runs as possible. Except for some domestic spin-friendly pitches and Aswin-Jaddu-Ojha, India's recent records would be unworthy of looking at. I am dreading for the coming winter (SA tour) and summer (Eng again). I wish I could close my eyes when these two are spanked all over the park.

  • hhillbumper on August 23, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    I bet we in other countries could only wish we had a spearhead like this.We wait his bowling in South Africa and then England next year. We fear his talent and remember the last time he bowled on our pitches. Guess we can but wait for the master to bowl here.

  • MikR on August 23, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Interesting a person with a bowling average of 38 leads the bowling attack. Zaheer should get picked for South Africa because India will certainly need his experience to win and guide the other young bowlers. India should use Zaheer only for tests like Australia use Peter Siddle only for tests.

  • simpleton on August 23, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Ishant, all these years the selectors kept him in the team because he had potential. He played 50 tests.

    Now, they will keep playing him for another 50 tests because he is now experienced !

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 23, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    My question to the Selectors - Why do you keep selecting Ishant Sharma? Do you think a bowler averaging 38 deserves to be in Indian team ?? We have no shortage of talent in India. All the younger bowlers - Bhuvi, Ishwar, Mohit, Shami, Sandeep Sharma, Sandeep Warrier, Imtiyaz Ahmed, etc. can do better than Ishant. We just need Zaheer to guide them for a year or 2. Sandeep Patil is a very reasonable man. I am pretty sure he will have a chat with Ishant soon.

  • Dangerplayer on August 23, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    He is not that bad guys??

  • tony_joe on August 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Really nice...to see a bowler giving the respect and being grateful to the senior in the team with whom he shouldered the responsibility of pace bowling for India. The way Inshant is grateful to Zaheer for his contributions in his development as a pace spearhead is really hearty.This binds a team together. Ishant was once hailed by Gary Kirsten as a very focussed and hard-working youth. At the age of just 20+ he has already played 50+ tests. With all these ups and downs in his career, I hope he improves going forward to be regarded as the most successful fast bowler from India.

  • Capricorn60 on August 24, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Admittedly like many Indian fans, I too get frustrated with Ishant's performances many a time but the guy is a whole-hearted trier & one of the fastest we have. It is not as if we have an abundance of genuine fast bowlers & this is why we struggle to bowl out sides - particularly in blasting out the opposition tailenders & in alien overseas conditions too - due to this dearth of fast bowling talent we have. With due respect, all these other bowlers put forward are all just medium pacers & are NOT going to do this job for us either! Ishant is only 25, probably will get still get better, hopefully start getting some luck too as he seems to be unlucky at times in not getting wickets his good bowling deserves & don't forget those two wickets in two balls that won us the Champions Trophy! So in view of this, let us support the big guy instead of constantly denigrating him which I frankly find quite tedious & annoying!

  • spot_on on August 24, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    This guy won't find a place in the XI if Dhoni thinks he doesn't need him. The odds of this are high. And people who want Umesh Yadav in tests, be sensible you guys, the guy is not fit for the longer format of the game, he will break down if he plays 3 consecutive days of cricket and doesn't have the technique for test cricket. We need bowlers who can bowl effortlessly and take wickets in Tests. I'll go with BK,Shami,Mohit and Ishwar(Zak as backup pacer, because the young lads have earned their places in the side and didn't take their places for granted like Zak did once)

  • Johnny_129 on August 24, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    India's 'pace' attack in SA should consist of Bhuvanesh, U Yadav, Ishant, Zaheer & Pandey. This attack, I believe, provides a very good balance of youth and experience, old ball (Zak & Ishant) and new ball (B Kumar & Yadav) combinations. With Pandey earning his spot. as back up, through his recent showing in SA.

  • anilkp on August 23, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Here is another sample: "bowling fast is my strength and that will remain so: Umesh Yadav", in Indian Express today. With a Test average of 32 (econ 4.2; over 6 in ODIs) he is our next best. If you leak over 4 runs overs after overs and taking an odd wicket here and there, how does it matter if bowling fast is your strength? You should use your brain to take wickets--no matter what your approach. What use if you bowl as fast as lightening? None of these leading Indian bowlers seem to be doing what they are supposed to be doing: take wickets while conceding as less runs as possible. Except for some domestic spin-friendly pitches and Aswin-Jaddu-Ojha, India's recent records would be unworthy of looking at. I am dreading for the coming winter (SA tour) and summer (Eng again). I wish I could close my eyes when these two are spanked all over the park.

  • hhillbumper on August 23, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    I bet we in other countries could only wish we had a spearhead like this.We wait his bowling in South Africa and then England next year. We fear his talent and remember the last time he bowled on our pitches. Guess we can but wait for the master to bowl here.

  • MikR on August 23, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Interesting a person with a bowling average of 38 leads the bowling attack. Zaheer should get picked for South Africa because India will certainly need his experience to win and guide the other young bowlers. India should use Zaheer only for tests like Australia use Peter Siddle only for tests.

  • simpleton on August 23, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Ishant, all these years the selectors kept him in the team because he had potential. He played 50 tests.

    Now, they will keep playing him for another 50 tests because he is now experienced !

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 23, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    My question to the Selectors - Why do you keep selecting Ishant Sharma? Do you think a bowler averaging 38 deserves to be in Indian team ?? We have no shortage of talent in India. All the younger bowlers - Bhuvi, Ishwar, Mohit, Shami, Sandeep Sharma, Sandeep Warrier, Imtiyaz Ahmed, etc. can do better than Ishant. We just need Zaheer to guide them for a year or 2. Sandeep Patil is a very reasonable man. I am pretty sure he will have a chat with Ishant soon.

  • Dangerplayer on August 23, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    He is not that bad guys??

  • ramz30380 on August 23, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    "I love being the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack" says Ishant Sharma - This must be the most hilarious statement made by a cricketer in recent times! He has never been up to it as a regular pacer leave alone being the spearhead!

    He bowled well in tandem with Steyn in the IPL - maybe he needs a player of that stature on the other end to help him out and thts y he was decent when he bowled with Zaheer in his first few matches.

    He needs to play more domestic cricket - playing county mite help. He is still young, so can improve. But this man needs a reality check - dropping him frm the squad like GG, Shewag, Yuvi and Bajji can help.

    Zak can be picked to help groom the younger breed - I think he can play for 2 yrs max - provided he hits form! An in-form Zak is a serious threat on any day, B.Kumar, Yadav, Pandey, Shami can learn a lot from him.

  • Naresh28 on August 23, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Judging by all the comments here, ISHANT is definitely not a SPEARHEAD. I feel he is a weak link in the Indian test squad. He definitely needs a bowling coach guiding him. You cannot take wickets if you dont plan a dismissal. Wayward, no length, no brains, not smooth at all. His only good points are his height(does not make count) and he is durable (compared to other Indian bowlers) Its nice to know we now have other bowlers like Pandey, Mohit and Sandeep Sharma waiting to get in.

  • Naresh28 on August 23, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    A REASON why Ishant is not effective could be that his height, pace are ideal for taller batsman of the world. He may give problems to shorter batsman, but taller ones can get valuable runs off him. The only way he can be effective is bowling quicker and he thus needs to be adjusting his line against both sizes. A bowling coach should be assigned to make him understand where he is going wrong. Although he is the workhorse of team India, he is a weak link in that he does not take to many wickets.

  • on August 23, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    well every time ishant made headlines like these he ended up being ordinary in his subsequent match/series. Selectors should be aware and just drop him. Let him play county instead.

  • McGorium on August 23, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    The problem with Ishant Sharma is the same problem that plagued Srinath for most of his career: he bowls only one length, which is too short on most surfaces. He cannot consistently pitch the ball up and get it to do something from that length, and he resorts to his standard back-of-length fare. Batsmen end up playing and missing, and everyone goes "Unlucky Ishant", whereas the problem is that he's bowling rubbish. He shouldn't even be in the ODI side given that he can't bowl yorkers (bowls half-volleys instead), and doesn't have much of a slower ball. Ishant is the spearhead by default: there is no other bowler better than him. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is early in his career (we all saw where Irfan Pathan went), and Yadav bowls too many bad balls. So,Ishant it is.

  • on August 23, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Ha Ha Ha!Good one Ishant :)

  • Viratkohlirocks on August 23, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Ishant, you mit be the bowling spearhead of the pacers but that is because you are msot senior. Only Bhuvi has guaranted a place in the indian side out of fast bowlers.

  • on August 23, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Our spearhead's test bowling average is 37.99. LOL! Enough said.

  • on August 23, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Spearhead? Kidding me? He doesn't even deserve to be in the team at first place....and then he says he's working on "Speed and endurance"? He needs to work on his line and length at which he is horribly awful.

    At present Bhuvaneshvar Kumar is the spearhead of Indian bowling.

  • mahi678 on August 23, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    I have a doubt in mind probably the reason behind this article is to remnd that he is spearhead, just to remind only. fear in the mind that 'spearhead' may be taken over by likes of bhuvi,shami,unakat,yadav or pandey. if zahher bowls well then his inclusion for 1or2 odd years can make young bowlers learn and get experienced.

  • jimbond on August 23, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Surely Bhubaneswar Kumar should be seen as the leader of the pack as of now, and surely Ishwar Pandey, Kaul, Sandeep Sharma etc etc are not worse than Ishant. Ishant is best for the Ranjis. He is only slightly worse than people like Awana and Suyal (in his own Ranji side)

  • ToTellUTheTruth on August 22, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Shouldn't the title read "I love being a Sparehead" than spearhead? IS does not have that much grasp on English, so, I guess we can forgive him. Not sure if the typo is made by the author though.

  • anilkp on August 22, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    @vakkaraju: Your point is well-taken. Our criticism is not for "someone or anyone" who failed after a few chances, or even after a great many chances. Our criticism is for someone who failed after great many chances and still claims to be the "spearhead". Frankly, Rohit had no business getting those many chances. If you look at how competitive the world is, you will realize that a successful team/company/organization cannot afford such low productivity. This is the reason Sehwag and Gambhir--despite being of top-class--are sitting home. Rohit is in the team just because he is a little younger (and, fair point to him, he is not claiming to be the batting spearhead). But how long do you carry the burden of such players? If we want to be an ordinary team, winning an odd match here and there and endure some more 0-4s, we cann carry with them. If we want to excel, players will have to step up.

  • pulkit10 on August 22, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    While he is at it maybe he should fix the more prevailing issues like bowling the incorrect length all the time. He gets wickets in limited overs cricket but that's by and large because of the frustration of the batsmen at the other end. Take this frustration out and you have a bowler in tests who keeps dropping it too short to maintain any kind of pressure.

    If he really wants to credit and thank Zaheer, maybe he can do that by learning how to maintain the pressure on your opponents. On his best day, Zaheer wouldn't give you an inch and then trouble you with great reverse swinging deliveries - Ishant needs to start doing that to support this magnanimous claim of him being the "spearhead".

    Good luck to him. Also, encourage Bhuvi to take the charge in tests. He has the temperament and the intelligence to succeed in the longer format.

  • vakkaraju on August 22, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    We are always glad to speak of development of a Batsman. Rohit Sharma has had multiple chances now slowly he is showing maturity. At same time we want our bowlers to be instantly economical and wicket takers. We should realize these youngsters are putting their bodies on line fight injuries and still learning on the job. All these vociferous critics should spare a thought for these bowlers too.

  • anilkp on August 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Oh Gosh...Ishant, can't you find something less funny to tell your fans? Your fans (1) have access to StatGuru on Cricinfo, (2) follow your performance each game, and (3) store your performance in their memory. They know how many wickets you take. They know the definition of a "bowling spearhead", and they also know if you qualify for that title. Seeing you going wicketless innings after innings, and seeing your make Umesh leaking fours and sixes overs after over, your fans can experience only one feeling: helplessness.

  • thinkIknowall on August 22, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    I am not a great Ishaan fan, but from the tone of his statements, which seems to be sincerity, and his humility in praise for Zak, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and wait and watch. (Also bear in mind, the competition is now fierce and no one is granted position in the Team, which further supports my opinion)

  • true_test_cricket_fan on August 22, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    You only call a person to be a "Bowling Spearhead", if that person takes wickets regularly or contains runs in a crucial situation. I have never seen Ishant Sharma do neither of this. So, how can he be the so called "Bowling Spearhead" ? If Geoff Boycott was to comment on this, he'd probably say - "My mum would be queuing up to smack him all round the park" :)

  • AmitMali10 on August 22, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    I wonder if Ishant can be or should have been a regular in the Indian team in any format, let alone being a spearhead. If you consider previous spearheads and the way they shouldered the burden, Ishant is not even close to being a spearhead. Kapil, Srinath, Prabhakar, sometimes zaheer khan; if you look at their Talent + intelligence + hardwork, Ishant comes up miserably short on all accounts. He has already played around 50 test matches I guess. People become the worlds best with that much time at the top and this guy is still learning his trade at the expense of a place in the national team. Only positive he has is he is a workhorse and can ball a lot of overs, with that quality he can be the 2nd change bowler NOT a spearhead.

  • sony_sr on August 22, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    @Sandeep Verma, I agree with you reg IS, I don;t see him improving even if he goes on to play 50 more tests. he is simply throwing the ball on to pitch and have no clue on how to get a batsman out. in odis even horrible balls can give you wicket like wat happened in champions trophy final, but in tests one needs to be a quality bowler to get wickets and this guy lost that ability the moment he lost the in-dipper which famously troubled world-class batsmen during the first few months of his career.

    But I have high hopes for mohit sharma. reason is he seams teh ball both ways a bit. but what makes him different from any other indian bowler is teh consistency with which he hits the sweat spot. I have only seen such level of consistency from aus bowlers. small seam movement + 135 kph speed + extreme consistency makes him a perfect candidate for pressure building in tests. i feel he can do what siddle does for aus.

  • Scheduler on August 22, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    He is one lucky Bowler who has somehow managed to stick around with the Indian team this long . Am not sure what so special other than his height and hair . After having played more than 50 tests and averaging around 37 is a stat that can be associated with bangladeshi team. Am really not sure why do the selectors wanna stick around with this lad when there are so many youngsters who are putting in a credible performance in domestic circuit. U cant just keep playing him sayin talent talent .Talent has to show fruit if not chuck 'em out.

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 22, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    If Ishant Sharma is our bowling spearhead...we are doomed. Did he ever take 5 wickets in an innings in a test match? Taking wickets in ODI is not the same as taking wickets in a test. We need Zaheer for South Africa. Zaheer, Bhuvi and Ishwar Pandey will make a good bowling unit. And please, no more Unadkat.

  • on August 22, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    If Ishant is spearhead....God saves India...He will be the first head to roll if Zaheer joins Indian squad( which is highly unlikely)...spearhead...??

  • on August 22, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    He can be a spearhead of Indian bowling in his dreams! I don't see him improving any further in spite of his young age. He is a waste.

  • on August 22, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    This article should be titled, I will be lucky to get a place in the Indian team.. Instead of playing him we will do well to pick Amit Mishra who has far better prospects of picking up wickets.. A three man spin attack is more potent than having this guy play for your team.. Just a matter of time before he announces his retirement..

  • wolf777 on August 22, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Spearhead? Did I miss something? I don't recall him taking 5 wickets in an inning...

  • PeterJerome on August 22, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Things IS needs to work on to be a better bowler: 1. Smoothen his bowling run up, delivery and follow thru. 2. Build some strong shoulders to use his height to food effect and hit the desk harder. 3. Stop running in with his mouth open. 4. Check the sync of his delivery gallop and delivery. And for God's sake, get a good hair-cut. Those shabby locks contribute in slowing you down, wearing you down and blinding up. Good luck.

  • devil_in_details on August 22, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    Leave alone being a sparehead, Ishant would be lucky to get a bowl during the test matches.

  • TRAM on August 22, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Thanks to cricinfo for keeping us amused ... "Ishant is bowling spearhead" :-)) He cant be a bowling spearhead even in any state teams.

  • CricketChat on August 22, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Ishant must eliminate his waywardness to be come the leader of the pack. He gets hit out of the attack quite regularly due to poor line and length. His record would indicate he is one of the more expensive bowlers of the team. He also cut down his pace by a yard or two to be an effective strike bowler in tests where batsmen have the luxury to wait out the new ball.

  • Sagarneel on August 22, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    A blunt spearhead! Goes on to show how depleted India are on the pace bowling department. As an Indian, I'd still like to think and see Zaheer Khan being our real bowling spearhead. No doubt Ishant is wonderful on his day, however, those days come only when it rains in the Atacama!

  • on August 22, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @ankur-agree completely it is county not ipl that will improve him internationally. Generally the more a bowler bowls and more the match practice the better he gets. He really isn't going to improve much when he bowls on average 3-4 overs a game for 2-3 months, he really isn't improving much. Look at zaheer khan, or even ojha(who I still believe is a better bowler than ashwin) and their improvement after spending a season in county. After first 40 odd tests zaheer averaged more than 40, played a season in county and his test averaged well to 30.If anything this is the main reason for increased injuries for fast bowlers - too much T20 cricket doesn't help when u suddenly start playing tests.

  • naren1983 on August 22, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Ishant is definetely a handy and wicket taking bowler in ODI. But question of how many good deliveries he bowls regularly. In this article, it is pointed that "he struck form and was one of the architects of India winning the Champions Trophy final", but if you really see the balls he bowled to Eoin Morgan & Ravi Bopara are not best balls in the scenario, but they somehow ended up giving catch practice to Ashwin. This is more a luck factor than to say he got out these batsmen at crucial point. Another problem with Ishant concedes more runs. His in-swingers missing now-a-days. He has to learn and bowl yorkers at the depth, which Indian bowlers missing now-a-days and become poorer in depth overs. He has the great ability to pitch the ball up and seam regularly. He is a good factor in ODIs only.

  • WAKE_UP_CALL on August 22, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    To be honest i hated him always whenever he bowled wide outside off stump to be smacked for four and eased off pressure of the batsman created by Indian spinners.However there must be something that dhoni is backing him.We Indians have to understand that he is still 25 and has gone through everything the early praise of bowling fast and then being a mediocre bowler.he still occasionally produces unplayable deliveries coz of his height which extracts extra bounce.He needs a good bowling coach who can knock his head whenever he looks utter flat out bowler who gets smacked around.with buvi swing,umesh skiddy pace and ishants hit the deck approach india can do well in the longer term.if zack can extract atleast 2 years of full fitness then india is surely going to roll on sides coz they have the batting and spinners to make a huge impact.i would still end by saying this ishant has been a disappointment to what potential he had earlier.with dhoni's back and short hair future can be bright.

  • JustAnObservation on August 22, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    When stalwarts like Sehwag, Zaheer, Gambhir, Yuvi & Harbhajan get axed even for a slightly below the benchmark performance, why is Ishant automatically selected despite a string of poor performances?

    Do the selectors ever check his performance card?

    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.

    Yet the selectors tout him as the spearhead of the Indian pace attack and now he himself is touting!

    Lets look at the bowling figures of the SA spearhead, Dale Steyn. In the past two years, Steyn has taken 94 wickets from 19 Test matches at an avg of just 21 and he has taken 5 or more wickets in a Test on 11 occasions.

    There simply is no comparison between the two.

    For the SA tour, the three automatic pace choices are Bhuvi, Zaheer & Umesh. For the remaining two slots, the options are Shami, Mohit, Ishwar, Unadkat, Irfan, etc.

  • on August 22, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    different speedometers have different speeds calculations of the same bowler. Hence in IPL some are fast and during other times they have less speeds. the speedometers used are different. And watching him bowl with Dale Steyn, you realize he is not far behind though not that regularly effective. He sure is bit unlucky. In Test matches you should see how many of his bowls jus missed the off stump by milli meters i would say, if half of them would have hit the stumps he would have had different stats altogether. He bowls much better than the fans here suggest or as the stats show.

  • on August 22, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    the guy is good i feel. has to be more thinking and stick to plans. will get rewards. had lot of expectations from him. still have. the good thing is that he is trying and confident. have a feeling that he will become better soon.

  • 512fm on August 22, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Its still hard to believe just how bad his stats are, 144 wickets @ 38 in 51 tests, I mean that would have to be a record for highest average playing that many games surely.

  • sony_sr on August 22, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Bhuvi, Ishwar, Mohit and Shami are the future of indian bowling attack. I don't think umesh and ishanth has imporved given the opportunities they had. Its time to move on.

  • on August 22, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Ishant Sharma. worst bowler to play more than 50 tests. Overrated , pathetic action, worst wrist position and laborious athlete . The wickets taken by him in ODI's are more due to batsman's mistake rather than his skill. Please drop him for at-least 2-seasons let him play county for a season then only he can improve .

  • on August 22, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @merajaan - 145-150... u must be kidding.. Ishant has not gone above 138 in the last two years in international matches... yes in IPL i have seen him bowling with pace... but in International matches.. it comes down to 130-135.

    Also it is strange to see that even with a bowling coach and obv mentors of their own.. bowlers like Ishant have lost their main ball whcih was the incoming one that troubled the great batsman Ricky Ponting in Aus.. all he does now is throw the ball to the pitch and expect that something wuld happen automatically...

    As far as Mohit sharma is considered.. I can bet anything on this.. he would have the same fate that of Manpreet Gony... no offence meant.. but the guy is just not international level thing.. may be too soon to comment but then that's just a personal observation.

  • on August 22, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    There is something missing, that key ingredient that makes a so so fast bowler into an above average bowler. Ishant has pace, and height the two main ingredients needed for a fast bowler. But what is puzzling is that he rarely if ever discomforts batter with his bounce - even on SA/Eng/Aussie pitches. Also, he has no movement and I do not remember ever reading about his reversing abilities. He is a young fast bowler and India needs to find that one coach who can make a better bowler out of this young man.

  • srinideva on August 22, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    did i wrongly entered into page 2 of cricinfo site...spearhead..mind blowing..what he did in test in recent years to say a word like that..only deserving peoples at the moment steyn and anderson.

  • on August 22, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Ishant Sharma is a very curious character. His comments consist of nothing outrageous, yet they lack sense. Ishant is not the team's bowling spearhead, period. I remember when about 4-5 years ago, he was dropped from the team for only 1 series and then called back. Regarding his come back, Ishant said he had matured as a player because of the hiatus. I don't think any player can mature by being dropped for only one series. Ishant may still have potential, but he has failed to exploit it. In this regard, I find Umesh Yadav better. He may get hit for runs, but at least he is sticking to his strengths, ie, speed and swing. Its only a case of ironing out his weaknesses now. Ishant, on the other hand, has ironed out his strengths and let his weaknesses flourish.

  • merajaan on August 22, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    I think the comments here are a bit harsh on Ishant.

    He bowled with a great deal of pace in the 2012 IPL where he consistently outpaced his bowling partner Dale Steyn.

    He maintained his pace in the tour to Australia shortly after, where he consistently bowling between 145kph-150kph. People often forget this! Though he didn't pick up a great deal of wickets, he bowled well and kept things tight.

    He was then hit with an ankle injury which required surgery. Since then he hasn't been at his best both with his pace and line & length. But when he gets it right he can be dangerous!

    He also has an excellent work ethic and it's good to see that he has been working hard on his fitness and pace during the off-season. I think we will see the best of Ishant come the South Africa tour!

    Would have loved to have seen Varun Aaron in the squad as well but that will be unlikely given that he has still recovering from injury.

  • Bomnal_Gopal on August 22, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Ishant, what to say man?? Had lot of expectations from u in the beginning but oh god, u disappointed us big time.. anyways, All the best for SA tour.

  • rockstarev on August 22, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Please dont call yourself bowling spearhead. It's Bhuvi .

  • Narbavi on August 22, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    But hey who said you are the bowling spearhead of our team?

  • Snowbadger15 on August 22, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    He may be the spearhead of the indian attack but he is not the best and is very lacklustre in tests

  • SamRoy on August 22, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Ishant should never play another test match for India at least in SA, England and Australia now that we have Bhuvi, Umesh, Ishwar, Mohit and Shami. Even Dhawal Kulkarni will do a better job than this guy. He is the main reason why India did not win that series in SA in 2010-11. Bowled rubbish to an injured Kallis and out of form Boucher with SA only 130 runs ahead and six wickets down with only tailenders to follow in their second innings. A decent spell then and India would certainly have won the series. Followed that one with bad outings in England and Australia. Has played 51 tests and still averages 38 with the ball but more significantly averages 74 in Australia, 58 in England and 48 in SA -- places where he is expected to much better than sub-continent.

  • on August 22, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    God Bless India's bowling if he is the spearhead. Ishant can't find a place in any international bowling unit, I wonder how he keeps on playing for India.

  • on August 22, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    God Bless India's bowling if he is the spearhead. Ishant can't find a place in any international bowling unit, I wonder how he keeps on playing for India.

  • SamRoy on August 22, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Ishant should never play another test match for India at least in SA, England and Australia now that we have Bhuvi, Umesh, Ishwar, Mohit and Shami. Even Dhawal Kulkarni will do a better job than this guy. He is the main reason why India did not win that series in SA in 2010-11. Bowled rubbish to an injured Kallis and out of form Boucher with SA only 130 runs ahead and six wickets down with only tailenders to follow in their second innings. A decent spell then and India would certainly have won the series. Followed that one with bad outings in England and Australia. Has played 51 tests and still averages 38 with the ball but more significantly averages 74 in Australia, 58 in England and 48 in SA -- places where he is expected to much better than sub-continent.

  • Snowbadger15 on August 22, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    He may be the spearhead of the indian attack but he is not the best and is very lacklustre in tests

  • Narbavi on August 22, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    But hey who said you are the bowling spearhead of our team?

  • rockstarev on August 22, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Please dont call yourself bowling spearhead. It's Bhuvi .

  • Bomnal_Gopal on August 22, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Ishant, what to say man?? Had lot of expectations from u in the beginning but oh god, u disappointed us big time.. anyways, All the best for SA tour.

  • merajaan on August 22, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    I think the comments here are a bit harsh on Ishant.

    He bowled with a great deal of pace in the 2012 IPL where he consistently outpaced his bowling partner Dale Steyn.

    He maintained his pace in the tour to Australia shortly after, where he consistently bowling between 145kph-150kph. People often forget this! Though he didn't pick up a great deal of wickets, he bowled well and kept things tight.

    He was then hit with an ankle injury which required surgery. Since then he hasn't been at his best both with his pace and line & length. But when he gets it right he can be dangerous!

    He also has an excellent work ethic and it's good to see that he has been working hard on his fitness and pace during the off-season. I think we will see the best of Ishant come the South Africa tour!

    Would have loved to have seen Varun Aaron in the squad as well but that will be unlikely given that he has still recovering from injury.

  • on August 22, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Ishant Sharma is a very curious character. His comments consist of nothing outrageous, yet they lack sense. Ishant is not the team's bowling spearhead, period. I remember when about 4-5 years ago, he was dropped from the team for only 1 series and then called back. Regarding his come back, Ishant said he had matured as a player because of the hiatus. I don't think any player can mature by being dropped for only one series. Ishant may still have potential, but he has failed to exploit it. In this regard, I find Umesh Yadav better. He may get hit for runs, but at least he is sticking to his strengths, ie, speed and swing. Its only a case of ironing out his weaknesses now. Ishant, on the other hand, has ironed out his strengths and let his weaknesses flourish.

  • srinideva on August 22, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    did i wrongly entered into page 2 of cricinfo site...spearhead..mind blowing..what he did in test in recent years to say a word like that..only deserving peoples at the moment steyn and anderson.

  • on August 22, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    There is something missing, that key ingredient that makes a so so fast bowler into an above average bowler. Ishant has pace, and height the two main ingredients needed for a fast bowler. But what is puzzling is that he rarely if ever discomforts batter with his bounce - even on SA/Eng/Aussie pitches. Also, he has no movement and I do not remember ever reading about his reversing abilities. He is a young fast bowler and India needs to find that one coach who can make a better bowler out of this young man.