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Two to three months for match-fitness - Ishant

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 9, 2012

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Ishant Sharma delivers the ball, Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 1st day, December 26, 2011
Ishant Sharma underwent an ankle surgery in March © Getty Images
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Ishant Sharma, the India fast bowler who underwent ankle surgery in March, has said he needs another two to three months to achieve match-fitness.

"I am feeling strong and good again, and have even started to bowl four-over spells," Ishant told the news channel Aaj Tak. "However, it will be difficult to get fully fit in time for next month's tour to Sri Lanka. Intensity of bowling and fitness has to increase gradually, and I would also need some match practice to check myself. I think I will take two or three months more to regain match fitness." India play New Zealand at home in late August before taking on England in October.

Ishant missed the fifth season of the IPL due to the surgery, which he opted for upon returning to India after playing the Test series in Australia. When asked about the timing of his surgery, Ishant said: "I had to look at the long term rather than short term, and I knew surgery was the best option if I had to play for a long time. The key was to be fit in time for the new season and my rehab is progressing well. I am going back to the NCA (National Cricket Academy) next week."

Ishant said he was keen to play some domestic cricket prior to making it back to the national side. "It was only after 30 Tests that I came to know about my exact fitness levels and my bowling, its strength and weaknesses.

"Fast bowling is 70% fitness and the rest is skill. Earlier when I used to bowl after a long gap, the legs always felt a bit of pain. But this is not happening post surgery. I want to prove myself in domestic cricket before returning to the Indian team. More bowling, more fitness is my mantra right now."

Ishant, 23, has played 45 Tests for India, picking up 133 wickets at 37.87. He's also played 47 ODIs, taking 64 wickets at 32.12. He impressed in patches on the tour of Australia but was inconsistent, finishing with just five wickets at an average of 90.20 in the four-Test series. "I think I bowled well in the Tests against England and was unlucky to get injured thereafter, thus missing a chance to cement my place in the ODI team. My form against West Indies at home was also good, but somehow could not carry it to Australia."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Ishant needs to play domestic season before even thinking of Indian team...time to give Umesh, Awana and other youngsters a shot...

Posted by hari040761 on (June 11, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

SPEED SHOULD NOT BE COMPROMISED BUT THE LENGTH IS MOST IMPORTANT. IF YOU BOWL AT 140ON THE LEG STUMP A LOW FULLTOSS IT WILL CERTAINLY GO FOR 4. LINE AND LENGTH IS MOST IMPORTANT WITH A SPEED OF 140 WILL BE GOOD ENOUGH WITH OCCASIONAL 145. YORKER IS MOST IMPORTAT ALONGWITH SHORT BALL. COUPLE OF LENGHT DELIVERY, WITH ONE SHORT BALL, ONE YORKER AND COUPLE OF SLOWER DELIVERIES OR VARIATIONS WILL BE A GOOD OVER WITHOUT CONCEEDING EXTRAS LIKE WIDES AND NO BALLS. WICKET SHOULD BE TAKNE BY PENETRATING THE BATSMEN AND NOT BY HIS MISTAKES OR WRONG SHOT SELECTION OR INSIDE EDGE ETC.

Posted by vinodzz on (June 10, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

its very nice 2 c dat majority of coments r encouragin words 4 Ishant................ he ll be bak wid a bang....Gannyboy's comment is de best one

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (June 10, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Ishant sharma is a bit of mystery to me , he is tall , has good pace , is young and already has experience bowling in most parts of the world , almost everyone who worked with him says he is a hard worker and a good guy...but the wickets just wont come , maybe he should observe how guys like broad and morne morkel operate because whatever he is trying now is obviously not working , and those who talk of 'unlucky ishant' are still in denial

Posted by sony_sr on (June 10, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

We are not Australia or SA where a talented guy if not performing can be rejected and 100 other fast bowlers are waiting to replace. We are India where a guy who shows some talent as a fast bowler needs to be preserved like diamond. Isanth was the most impressive bowler in Australia eventhough his wickets column does not have anything to show. This guy has enough talent to be preserved with. Its only a matter of time before teh wickets column also gets filled.

Posted by   on (June 10, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

Good Luck Mate,Keeping fingers crossed for you.Do hope you have some luck bowling in the future.3 wickets per match at 37 per wkt and a strike rate nearing 70 are not your potential.4-5 wickets at 25 with a strike rate of 50 is what you are!You are bowling good lengths but you need the odd variation,a short ball every over and some more yorkers.Only way you can use your height to the maximum.

Posted by muski on (June 10, 2012, 3:15 GMT)

Ishant has been a overated bloke who has never used his head while bowling. Before, Saurab Tiwary took over the mantle from him, he was the Super Dud of the IPL's when people bought him for huge sums thinking he will do wonders. Except his performances in the Windies, he has been a disaster all along. The excuse of too much cricket does not hold water. As the BCCI bosses keep saying, its upto the players to take care of their bodies and ask for them to be rested if they feel so. He had a lovely opportunity to learn from Dale Steyn during the IPL season. Whether he has made use of it or not we do not know. Only time will tell.

Posted by Indiaforever on (June 9, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

I agree that he didn't do well in England and Australia but he is still young only 23 and can become a very good bowler for India. The main problem with him is that he is too inconsistent which in test matches is not good enough and with Umesh Yadav in Australia leaked way too many runs and didn't put enough pressure on the batsmen. I can still see him having a bright future.

Posted by passionatecricbug on (June 9, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

One of Indian Cricket's biggest tragedy. He had the venom. He was real tough to face when he started. And as feared was overplayed on flat tracks which led to loss of fitness, pace and more importantly self confidence. His average went from brilliant to pathetic and when last seen bowling, was begging for wickets. Wish him luck ..... hope he dosen't become Pathan 2.

Posted by Min2_cric on (June 9, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

I dont lyk Ishant...Bt at present he is better than Zaheer...d ideal test team should be aaron umesh ishant and any spinner...Gud dat i remember dat india after retirement of kumble hasnt produced any spinner equal to even 1 millionth of Kumble.Harbhajan and ashwin r of no use...they really cant spin d ball...Swann is 1000 times better than them...

Posted by 1st_april on (June 9, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

Michael Clarke has a better bowling average than Ishant Sharma.....the rest is all theory....

Posted by eGVishal on (June 9, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

Well fully fit Ishant with guys like Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron and Ashok dinda as fourth option gives India much needed real pace trios for any conditions. Its always seen that guys with a bit of pace can make any batsmen uncomfortable at any place. First since India adopted cricket there will be pacer with bowling speed more than 145 K. Good and exciting time for Indian cricket.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (June 9, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Get well soon Ishy, I hope you guys both Ishant and Sreesanth take it seriously and be a good fast bowling pair for India in Test with Yadav, Aaroon , Awana, Nechim, Kulkarni and Ahmed in future. I have seen one of your interview during england tour and u said u dont get well with sreesanth. I hope you get well with him. because bowling in partnership will help you both dear and outcome will also be good. Best of luck for your future endevour.

Posted by arun_padmanabhan on (June 9, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

@sunny : why this kolaveri?? A fit and raring ishant will be a great boon to india, provided he is given some advise on the optimum line and lengths to bowl..

Posted by Vikramaditya100 on (June 9, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Ishant has to learn to pitch the ball up and swing it or else his bowling average(currently around 37) will cross Sachin's batting Average:) He should learn from the likes of Broad and Morkel who despite being taller than Ishant pitch the ball up and are more dangerous....

Posted by   on (June 9, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

Comeback soon stronger harder faster….we definately need you . However please dont lose your pace. India needs tall bowlers who hit the deck and bowl fast if wants to improve its test record. It is commendable you gave you IPL for the ankle surgery. Wishing you a succesful comeback.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (June 9, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Sad news.Ishant Sharma needs to stay off for a lot longer,maybe 15 years!

Posted by   on (June 9, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

On wickets that are a fast bowler's paradise, IS had 5 wickets ONLY after playing the whole series at an avg of 90 per wicket. He was bad in England too. Overall test bowling average of 38, only about 3 wickets per test. Forget Ishant. 5 years ago, he troubled Ponting now & then, which was impressive when he was only 19 but that remains his only real achievement. He cant swing the ball. He cant reverse swing. He doesnt seam. He is not very fast. Only thing he does is steep bounce from short of a length at 135K. Enough. Let's try Aaron, Pankaj Singh and others now.

Posted by Dev9212 on (June 9, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

Really impressed with the way Ishant has handled his injury. First of all he was honest about it and then he decided to skip the IPL so that he wont miss playing for the national side am not sure many players would have done that considering the easy money available in the IPL.

Posted by gannyboy on (June 9, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Good to see a young Indian player using the old school method of going to NCA and then willing to sweat it out in the domestic circuit before making it back to Indian team.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

Wat? well please for team's sake stay away we dont need u please :/

Posted by veerakannadiga on (June 9, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

Yes Ishanth, way to go. C'mon buddy work hard at your fitness. I wish you all the best to become the lethal weapon you once were. AMEN

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