Ishant Sharma July 7, 2011

'I was trying to copy Zaheer's action'

Having lost his way after a sparkling start, Ishant Sharma has returned stronger, wiser and more effective. He credits his senior partner, among others, for his comeback
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Ishant Sharma is only 22 but has already seen many ups and downs in his career. He became the fifth-youngest bowler ever to reach the landmark of 100 Test wickets. He talks to ESPNcricinfo about the turbulent phase when his bowling deserted him and he ended up being dropped from the India team. He talks about the mistake he made, the depression he went into, and how he bounced back.

You seemed to have got your rhythm back in the West Indies...
The rhythm is back. The important thing is, I am now enjoying my bowling. I visualise every ball and what I need to do. I focus on my strengths. I believe in my strengths more now - the pace and bounce. The last one and a half years have been up and down. I struggled a lot. I would just like this form to continue .

Were there times when you wondered about what was going wrong at the start of your run-up?
I was trying to copy Zaheer Khan's action. No doubt he is a great bowler, but I guess I shouldn't have tried to copy his action. We are entirely different in styles. Zaheer told me that I am too much into the technical side of things and that I shouldn't be. Now I just stick to my basics and my strengths. When I started, I was just looking to enjoy and bowl fast. Slowly the expectations grew, my responsibility in the team grew, and I didn't know how to handle that pressure.

When and why were you copying Zaheer?
When South Africa came to play in India, I started to copy him. I wanted to be a swing bowler. I was forgetting my natural strength of bounce and hitting the deck. When I bowl with my natural style, the ball automatically starts to inswing. That was my strong point, and I should have just stuck to that. That was my greatest mistake.

I wanted to swing it from a fuller length and in trying to do that I was copying his action. I thought I could copy his action release, just to get my length fuller. The way I ran, the action, the whole thing was affected.

Did you tell him you were trying to copy his action?
I didn't. I didn't want his bowling to get upset, or for him to feel bad that this was why my bowling was going wrong. I just realised that it's all right to learn things from others but you shouldn't be copying actions.

I had become too technical, instead of being tactical. When you are in the Under-17 stage, if you are concentrating on your technical stuff, it is fine. Your body and muscles accept the changes in action. But when you try to change it later, it gets difficult.

So you lost your rhythm?
Yes. The ball doesn't land where you want to it to. You forget your positives and your mind starts focusing on the negative. You go into a shell. Everything is going against you. That feeling is really bad. I didn't know why these things were happening, why what I was trying to do was not happening. I didn't realise it then, especially as I was swinging the ball at the start of my career. Even in the second IPL, in South Africa, I felt I was bowling well. Then the bad patch started through World Twenty20 and the New Zealand tour. Things were going bad. I was putting too much pressure on myself.

Did you start to do that in the nets too?
In the nets I used to be relaxed, and I enjoyed it, so I bowled well. In cricket as long as you are relaxed and enjoying yourself and your game, you will do well. In the middle, I had forgotten that. I wasn't focused on the process but more worried about the results. As I had more experience, I became aware of my body and bowling, and things started to improve. That I learnt in the last IPL.

How bad was that phase of struggle? Did you stop laughing and enjoying life?
Yes, I did. During that time, even, say, if I was talking to you, I would be constantly thinking about cricket. How should I get that batsman out? What I should do, how I should bowl. I wasn't enjoying it. There was too much pressure. I was almost obsessed with cricket. Too much thinking about one thing isn't good.

I wasn't able to sleep well when I was dropped. I used to worry about what was going to happen to me. Suddenly from being a top bowler in Indian cricket you are nowhere. That time I was depressed. But seeing these good times I feel bhagwan ke ghar mey dher hai andher nahi [God will eventually reward you for your effort]. I now know how to react even when things are not going well.

How did you come out of that phase?
I met a man, Ramesh sir, during the IPL. He told me how to think positive, do meditation, visualisations, how to focus on your own strengths. He doesn't know cricket, but the mental power he taught me really helped. And with the help of friends and family, I recovered.

Then I spoke to Zaheer in the IPL. He talked to me about the importance of training. That has really helped me. I didn't much go to the gym earlier. I went to the National Cricket Academy, where they made a training schedule for me: what muscles I should develop and which ones I load more in my bowling style. That systematic training helped and I am sticking to it.

When did you sense the turnaround during the IPL?
After two or three games I became confident. What I was trying to do was coming through. I started to enjoy my life around cricket. That's important to me. On the field give 100% and then switch off. I wasn't doing that before.

Ramesh sir made me change that. He made me meditate and visualise my bowling. He told me "Vahi socho jo aapko karna hai. Na socho jo nahi karna hai [Just think about what you want to do, not what you don't want to]". That was an important point.

How was the emotional support at home?
There was a time I was really depressed that I wasn't in the team. I used to sit alone and think cricket. About this and that. My mother and my sister backed me. They really believed in me and made me believe in myself, that I can do it again. When you have that kind of support, you feel you can do anything. They said it is just matter of time. It happens to every sportsman. They told me to accept the reality of my life and work hard, and that I would be back.

Did you learn about the drawbacks of being famous?
Absolutely. When you are doing well people ask for your autograph. Otherwise no one asks about you. That made me mentally stronger. I have now learnt to balance. I know how to handle success and failure.

"Sometimes even I don't know which ball is going to straighten, so how can the batsmen know? I try to swing with the new ball. I usually know when it's going to straighten or swing out when I try to do that, but on many occasions even I don't know"

Did any of your team-mates help you then?
I would like to thank Gautam [Gambhir] bhaiya. He had great belief in me. When I was down I wouldspeak to him, and he would tell me that I would make a comeback and do really well. A senior player like him was supporting me and telling me I should not lose hope in myself. When you are bowling well, everyone praises you. It matters what people are saying when you aren't doing well. I am really grateful to Gautam bhaiya.

You went back to play Ranji Trophy. What was that like?
I was happy to play cricket. I just wanted to play. I wasn't used to sitting out and handing drinks. That irritates me. With Ranji Trophy I was playing cricket, and that was always helpful.

The wrist release at one point had become skewed. Your wrists used to be behind the seam initially, but later you seemed to be pushing the ball sideways.
When you play too much cricket, bad habits creep in. You don't realise it. There is no one to tell you what's happening. The body gets tired, and you suddenly don't know what's happening. Now I know more about my bowling - how to train and recover. My wrist position gets bad when I get really tired. Training is very important for me. I have to put in more effort in my bowling than say Munaf, Praveen or Zaheer. I have to run in hard from a long run-up, and my style demands more effort. So I need to put in more training.

Venkatesh Prasad has praised you as the most hard-working fast bowler he has worked with.
I doubt if anyone else enjoyed bowling with Venky sir as much as I did. It was a great learning experience. After a point, we stopped being teacher and student and became friends. I could go up to him and discuss anything, from bowling to my life.

You have a great incoming delivery. These days you seem to be getting the odd ball to straighten as well. How much control do you have now?
My stock ball is the inswinger. The odd balls straighten on their own. Sometimes even I don't know which ball is going to straighten, so how can the batsman know? I try to swing with the new ball. Of course I usually know when it's going to straighten or swing out, but many times I don't know. It hits the seam and it can straighten. The ones under my control I know.

Many have noted a stutter in your follow-through.
It has been there since I started playing. I never worried about it. It all depends on how firm and still you are in your run-up and release. The follow-through follows from that.

What's your routine on match days?
I try to wake up happy and just stay away from cricket. On the field you are thinking so much about cricket, so off the field I try to get on my phone, chat with my team-mates, enjoy. Even if my day hasn't gone well, just enjoy the good times in it.

Tell us about your relationship with Zaheer.
I am lucky to be bowling with Zaheer. He is so aware of his own body, his bowling, and has so much knowledge. I didn't know about my bowling and my body at the start of my career. Now I know when to train, when to relax, and how much bowling I must do. Zaheer advises me a lot. He even sets fields - where to bowl, how to bowl. It was a great help. He is always positive. He never talks negative. He always wanted to dismiss the batsmen irrespective of whether he is set or not. He won't think, "Okay, let me give this guy a single and target the other." He used to say, "We must do the difficult thing." So to share the ball with someone like him is great, and good things are going to rub off on to you.

Do you remember any wicket in particular that came about after a plan with Zaheer?
During Australia's tour - when I was Man of the Series - I took Brad Haddin's wicket. I bowled a series of bouncers and then slipped in a slower one. It was in Bangalore. That's what we had planned: let's bowl bouncers at him, and then slip in a slower one, as he doesn't pick it up sometimes.

Are you confident enough of setting your own fields and planning dismissals in his absence, like here in the West Indies?
I now know my bowling, and have control over my body. So I am confident. I have done my homework. I have learnt to set my fields. I know what I want to do. I visualise at the end of the day. Go back on the good things and what I can add.

Visualisation is about feeling good about yourself and landing the ball where you want it to land it. Before I bowl a ball I visualise that I have bowled the ball where I want it to land. By doing that your heart has already gone there. If your heart has gone, the brain follows. So I visualise the end result as if I have already done it, and then I bowl. I learnt this from Ramesh sir.

I tug at my sleeve at the start of each ball. It has become a habit. I do it because I feel something's sticking onto my skin there.

A lot of people believed that playing ODIs was spoiling your bowling in Tests.
I didn't think so. My strong point is Test cricket. I bowl for long, pick up wickets, and I am aggressive. These are the things that help you in ODIs as well.

People say I shouldn't be playing in the IPL. I take everything as a challenge. I set goals for myself and see if can achieve them or not. I want to be a regular member of the Indian squad and play all three formats of the game.

How did you handle the money coming in?
It depends on the individual. I saw early success and then failure. I must thank my family. I never thought more of myself just because I was an Indian player. My father is always down to earth. He never complains. When I was doing well, he used to thank God. When I wasn't doing well, he would say it's all thanks to God and it is a learning experience.

You seem to have started concentrating on your batting.
I need to thank Gary Kirsten. He used to tell me that I can bat. When he came for the first time, in Australia, he saw me and said I can bat as well. I never took batting seriously. I never thought one day I can help India win a Test. I need to be really thankful to Gary for that. As a bowler, you know how much you struggle to take a wicket. So when I struggle so much to get a wicket, why should I give my wicket easily? Scoring runs is not the issue for me. I just concentrate on sticking around.

How has Eric Simons been for you guys?
He doesn't try to change the things I am comfortable with. He adds to it. When you gel well with a team, your relationship with players and coaches should be good in order for the team to be good. That relationship you develop over a period of time. Now my relationship with Eric Simons is how it was with Venky. He has a good bonding with the fast bowlers. Players listen to what he says. Like Venky, he allows our natural ways to be and then tries to add on.

I never used to bowl round the stumps to left-hand batsmen. I have learnt to go round now. Eric has helped me in that regard. I used to bowl a little too wide to left-handers, but that has changed now.

What has been your most satisfying dismissal since returning?
Every single wicket is satisfying when you are making a comeback. You learn that just because you had one bad spell it's not the end of world. You can always come back and pick up three wickets, and then at the end of the day you have bowled well. It's not like batsmen; we bowlers can always come back. There is more clarity with regards to my bowling.

What about reverse swing?
I love bowling reverse swing. Touch wood, I have control over it, but I don't think in cricket anyone is a master. I have better control over lengths but it all depends on how good you feel and in what rhythm you are. You can bowl seven overs on the trot when you are in rhythm; if you are not, it's a struggle to bowl even five. Some days you just wake up happy and everything and everyone around you feels good. There is this happy atmosphere around you. You go to the ground and feel you can do whatever you want. I think all fast bowlers know it.

How has it been bowling alongside the likes of Munaf, Praveen and Sreesanth?
Munaf and Praveen are really helpful. It's not that Sreesanth is not helpful, but it's all about bonding and gelling. Our thinking is the same. We hang out, enjoy, laugh, and we share that thinking on the field as well. When I am bowling, and Munna bhai is getting the drinks, he will tell me what I should be doing. It's great for team spirit.

Define enjoyment for you on tours.
Sitting in the hotel, enjoying each other's company. We don't get time to go on holidays together. We sit in the room, talk and laugh, or sit in the bus and laugh. It makes a great difference. You are able to switch off. Now I think about cricket when I have to. I relax at other times. I speak to mummy or to my friends. To relax, the best thing is to spend time with Munna bhai. He has a great sense of humour.

What's your career goal?
It's to play 100 Test matches for India and take as many wickets as possible. To play 100 Tests it will take 10 years. I hope my body lasts that long.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | July 8, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    we want bouncy wickets and/or swing(y) conditios. India has Sachin, Dravid and Laxman. Plenty of calibre. they will savour pace and bounce. Sehwag will slice and cut that girraffee tremlett and end his career.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 8, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    There was a tall bowler who can swing both ways. Flintoff. Courtney walsh. But i really think best swing bowler was muhammed asif. He learned it from aqib javed. Akram is special talent. We talking about small guys who swings big.

    Zaheer is more clever than any technique. Watch asif ...more similar. Asif does more press on the ball that grip it.. And let the pitch and ball does rest. That makes batsman not guess how the ball gona swing.

  • POSTED BY Cruzan on | July 8, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Ishant is maturing under thier new bowling coach. He is performing better and with more intelligence. I am sure he is grooming to be another Zaheer for India.

  • POSTED BY WC2011Champs on | July 8, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Ishant, you are great guy! Use your head, there were no role models for Kapil and Zaheer. They made it big on their own so can you.

    'Til England tour you will be fine with pace and bounce strategy, that by the way is your forte. When you return to India find some other ways to get wickets. Pace and bounce won't work there. Try pace variations, and never quit bowling a 148kmh every now and then. That is fast bowler's ultimate weapon.

    And please do not giggle with Munaf on the sidelines. That's where you lose fire and aggression, the very characteristic of fast bowling.

    Selectors, you got a world class bowler for foreign pitches. He must always be in playing XI outside subcontinent. l

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | July 8, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    @chilled_avenger - he has already proven more than handful in Australia in his first tour. But I agree media in India is crazy.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    That was a darned honest interview and for his age Ishant has spoken very maturely. Hope he carries his terrific to the English grounds as well.

  • POSTED BY sameer997 on | July 8, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    he seems to be workin really hard, i just hope tat he can manage to bowl a few long spells.He can seriously be very dangerous to any batsmen especialy in a wicket full of bounce and pace.Hope he continues his good work frm her wish him luck.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    @praxis,@Trickstar - I just wish England produces a fast and bouncy tracks that Tremlett is asking for. Even Harbhajan savours bounce , he reaped the benefits of it when he was in England last time. Last time , when India was in England , Zaheer and Harbhajan was enough for India to wrap up the series.http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/258469.html. This time around India's bowling attack is even better.

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | July 8, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Good to see Ishant back in good rythm. I remember his spell against Ponting at perth where Ponting was lucky to survive a number of overs before falling to him. Ishant is clearly emerging as the bowler who will lead the bowling in a few years. It will be interesting to see him bowl in England.

  • POSTED BY Narayan.Shastri on | July 8, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Who can forget his contribution with the bat? He made 31 priceless runs, coming at number 10, partnering VVS Laxman, in a stand worth 80plus runs, against Australia at Mohali last year. People will always remember this special knock from Ishant - it was full of grit and determination, weathering the bowling of Mitchell Johnson and company.

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | July 8, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    we want bouncy wickets and/or swing(y) conditios. India has Sachin, Dravid and Laxman. Plenty of calibre. they will savour pace and bounce. Sehwag will slice and cut that girraffee tremlett and end his career.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 8, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    There was a tall bowler who can swing both ways. Flintoff. Courtney walsh. But i really think best swing bowler was muhammed asif. He learned it from aqib javed. Akram is special talent. We talking about small guys who swings big.

    Zaheer is more clever than any technique. Watch asif ...more similar. Asif does more press on the ball that grip it.. And let the pitch and ball does rest. That makes batsman not guess how the ball gona swing.

  • POSTED BY Cruzan on | July 8, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Ishant is maturing under thier new bowling coach. He is performing better and with more intelligence. I am sure he is grooming to be another Zaheer for India.

  • POSTED BY WC2011Champs on | July 8, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Ishant, you are great guy! Use your head, there were no role models for Kapil and Zaheer. They made it big on their own so can you.

    'Til England tour you will be fine with pace and bounce strategy, that by the way is your forte. When you return to India find some other ways to get wickets. Pace and bounce won't work there. Try pace variations, and never quit bowling a 148kmh every now and then. That is fast bowler's ultimate weapon.

    And please do not giggle with Munaf on the sidelines. That's where you lose fire and aggression, the very characteristic of fast bowling.

    Selectors, you got a world class bowler for foreign pitches. He must always be in playing XI outside subcontinent. l

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | July 8, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    @chilled_avenger - he has already proven more than handful in Australia in his first tour. But I agree media in India is crazy.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    That was a darned honest interview and for his age Ishant has spoken very maturely. Hope he carries his terrific to the English grounds as well.

  • POSTED BY sameer997 on | July 8, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    he seems to be workin really hard, i just hope tat he can manage to bowl a few long spells.He can seriously be very dangerous to any batsmen especialy in a wicket full of bounce and pace.Hope he continues his good work frm her wish him luck.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    @praxis,@Trickstar - I just wish England produces a fast and bouncy tracks that Tremlett is asking for. Even Harbhajan savours bounce , he reaped the benefits of it when he was in England last time. Last time , when India was in England , Zaheer and Harbhajan was enough for India to wrap up the series.http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/258469.html. This time around India's bowling attack is even better.

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | July 8, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Good to see Ishant back in good rythm. I remember his spell against Ponting at perth where Ponting was lucky to survive a number of overs before falling to him. Ishant is clearly emerging as the bowler who will lead the bowling in a few years. It will be interesting to see him bowl in England.

  • POSTED BY Narayan.Shastri on | July 8, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Who can forget his contribution with the bat? He made 31 priceless runs, coming at number 10, partnering VVS Laxman, in a stand worth 80plus runs, against Australia at Mohali last year. People will always remember this special knock from Ishant - it was full of grit and determination, weathering the bowling of Mitchell Johnson and company.

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | July 8, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    @(Trick)star - India may not have the best bowling line-up in the world. But, any line up that gives you 20 wickets is a good line-up. Clearly the reason India is #1 in the world. And with Ishant back in the bunch, there is not gonna be any stopping!!! We gonna conquer England and Australia. Well we nailed England in England last time around anyway, so that one is off the list. We nearly nailed SouthAfrica this time. Graeme Smith got away winning the toss in the first test match. I consider our last series in Australia a victory after the shit that happened in the Sydney test. We had them nailed. We nailed 'em in their den - Perth!! Brutal!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    is this fare to criticise a player for performing good against the weaker team. Do a player not have any right to hit a century or take 10 WM against a weaker team. It's good to perform well against a strong opposition, but to perform well against a weaker is not bad either. It's always disappointing when a person talks about sachin's best against Bangladesh. should he got out for a zero against them. debates like this are really nonsense.

    So, we should praise Ishant for his 10 WM. no matter, against which team he got those. It's not a justice with a player when he is criticised like this until he is playing well!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    @spiritwithin- Wow you are really overrating indias bowling attack. No way are they 3rd in the world in bowling. Even though everyone is full of praise of the english attack, you still think that india's bowling is better? The reason why india is No1 is because they dont lose matches, they have tons of draws in the last 3 years (mainly due to laxman). The reason why they dont lose matches is because of the strong batting, not the bowling. In fact i think that even the west indies have a better attack than india's, they lost mainly due to their weak batting.

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | July 8, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    @Trickstar..SA has a good bowling attack with morkel & steyn but tahir??lol he did'nt played a single test match and u rated their overall attack as best?..England,well well does their bowlers even know how to win a match in conditions other than overcast condition??anderson is good but only under cloudy weather,broad??y is he in the team??bresnan,an average bowler,tremlett lol this guy has just one 6wkt haul against SL and took some wickets against a struggling aus side and all started calling him as the next big thing,swann?again an average spinner and will always struggle against a subcontinent side..at present only Pak,SA has good attack,india with zaheer,ishant,praveen & bhajji will be at 3rd and unlike england they will be effective in all conditions not just in overcast one

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | July 8, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    I'm glad to see Ishant taking wickets again - even if it is against a poor Windies batting lineup, the confidence boost will do him good. I've always thought Ishant was the best of an average bunch of young Indian quicks, and will make a good pairing with Zaheer. Persist with him, and it'll pay off, especially in SA and Australia where the conditions suit him better than at home. As an aside - any talk of the Indian bowling line being better than the SA or Eng attacks is utter nonsense. England have an overabundance of excellent (by 21st century standards) quicks at the moment and an excellent spinner in Swann, and SA's attack of Steyn & Morkel (plus support from Kallis) is currently the best in the game. Zaheer is good, Ishant is improving, and Bhaji is hot-and-cold like always, but they're not that good.

  • POSTED BY crystosis on | July 8, 2011, 0:30 GMT

    @Trickstar I wouldn't rate England bowling at all. SA is definitely better, but England? nah.not at all... Anderson is the best of the lot. He is extremely good in suitable conditions but otherwise very ordinary...(Eng SL ODIs vs World cup). Broad--->get lost. Presently the most useless guy in the team. Brensan -> decent ODI bowler, Tremlett --> Pretty decent but still to prove himself against better batting sides.(Aus during Ashes was crap, SL has a dismal record in England), Swann--> India plays him pretty well. Finn--> haha...He has a long way to go. Everyone knows how he got those wickets...They were easy picking at the end of the match

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 7, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    I still think he kinda slow down during delivery with hands and fingers doing to the ball. he needs to be free flow. Also he may have to learn from P kumar than zaheer khan. There is something uncanny with P kumar, Aquib javed and asif. They let ball do the inswing not their fingers and grip.

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | July 7, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    Ishant was hands down the "best thing" to have happened to Indian cricket for a long long time when he burst into the international scene down-under with sheer pace and bounce and making Punter look like a "rabbit trying to dig a hole in the pitch to hide". Obviously Indian media and BCCI made sure he lost his way. I'm extremely pleased that at such a young age he had the guts to go to the extreme troughs from the pinnacle and yet find motivation to bounce back!! He is our key to destroy England and Australia this year!! Amen!

  • POSTED BY Praxis on | July 7, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    @Rajorshi Kumar Sen, sorry but I don't think Indian pace attack edging out South Africa right now, or England's. I'm not undermining this attack, Zaheer is very good, Ishant has improved a lot but this current WI batsmen are way average which we don't realize cause India sent replacements for most batting positions.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    If we look into the best test teams in the history, any great test team needs a very good opening pair, 2 best batsmen in the middleorder, 1 wicketkeeper batsman and a very strong pair of bowlers. India's current test team has all these characteristics. However with Bhajji's current for it is essential for Ishant to provide the same support to Zaheer. Hope Ishant will be able continue with his current for form for long. All the best !

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Ishant is a terrific bowler. He is responsible for the start of Ricky Ponting's slide, as he had Ponting all at sea. To have the strength to overcome his loss of form and bounce back as he has shows great character. I also admire his humility. He will be a handful for England later in the summer.

  • POSTED BY Gocool87 on | July 7, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    Common Ishant. I am sure you will become a legend one day.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | July 7, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    @Rajorshi Kumar Sen So Sharma has got some wickets, against one of the worst batting line ups in Test cricket and India, all of a sudden, have a better bowling line up, than SA and England. I've heard of some parochial, biased view points but this takes some beating. SA have Steyn and Morkel and Tahir, England have 5 bowlers ranked in the top 17 of the ICC rankings, they have 2 of the top 3 and also Tremlett who's easily, one of the best bowlers going around, India falls quite a bit short.

  • POSTED BY chilled_avenger on | July 7, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    Ishant still has a very long way to go to be even considered a proper Test Bowler!A 10-wicket haul against WI maybe good for a confidence boost,but we'll have to see how he performs against Aus,SL,SA & Eng.I hope that the Media does not create a hype around him again and thus pressurizing him even before his career begins.......which is already too late considering the 33 tests under his belt!

  • POSTED BY AndySaywell on | July 7, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    A yery promising picture 2 see, a raw (albeit talented & hard-working) young boy comes on scene & make havoc in Oz, then goes a little wayward & come back strong. Also great 2 C the support he's got from Venky / Gary / Simmons / Rameshsir from coaching side & also from Zak / Gauti / Munna as snr colleagues & Playin in d shadows of "Lead By Example & Achieve-Still Humble" Greats (some R All-time greats) like SRT/RD/VVS/ MSD & Dada. Just goin by d comments of few -ve souls like @KAIRAVA -Considering his age & maturity he's shown, n goin by d no. of games played these days, he shouldn't have any problem 2 surpass Kapil's Record & I'm sure Kapil Paaji will B the 1st one 2 congratulate him with gifts (Kapil is D1 I adore - always a fighter & a Champ). 1 +ve input by @Nitesh Pandey -FTP has 102 games in next 8 yrs 4 Team India, so 163 games in next 12 yrs & goin by 3.5 Wkts /Match in 85% games he'd make 585 Career wickets at 33 n still have 2 yr's. buffer- Way 2 GO Team INDIA.

  • POSTED BY batnpad on | July 7, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Ishanth is very lucky that he is seen the ups and downs at a very young age. Hope he has learned how to stay positive and how to take care of the body. Zaheer can be a good guide. But I want to question the seniors and coaches. Doesn't someone talk to him & guide when he is losing it? Looks like no one really helped him, technically or mentally. Thats what too much cricket and lack of time and communication can do for you. BTW, I still don't think Zaheer would play all 4 tests in England, 3 at most.

  • POSTED BY cricket_ftw on | July 7, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    India has enough fire power for england series. Zaheer Ishant & Munaf. Need to find a quality spinner though. Bajji needs some time in domestic cricket.

  • POSTED BY Angad11 on | July 7, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    This guy bowls with a lot of heart. Even when he was down, not bowling well, catches being dropped of his bowling but he runs in hard every time. But pls dont loose pace, u already bowling less than 140kmph.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Awesome Interview..Good to see Fast bowlers of Ishant's caliber in Team India..We ned to produce more weapons for the future..

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    You can see how down to earth he is simply by the sheer number of people he thanked profusely in this interview. He could have gone on about himself after this excellent comeback, but chose not to.

    India cant afford to screw up with this guy. How many other bowlers do we have with his pace and bounce ?

    If he reaches his potential, every other team will think twice before setting India a bouncy pitch. At his best, Ishant is the best bowler of his kind, a notch above Morne Morkel and Tremlett even. England, watch out.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Loved this interview. Have to post 25 characters so I am now writing blather.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    With Ishant at his current form ,Sreeshant at his best and Zaheer as always...I see India's pace attack right now edges out South Africa's or England's. Pace you get it from Ishant, in Zaheer you get the guile of a left-hand fast bowler and in Sreeshant you get a craftiest swing bowling [ though it does not peak everyday]. India is only getting better as the No.1 test team in the work right now. They will blow this English time out and silence all their big-mouth ex-cricketers.

  • POSTED BY Vijay_MatchWinner on | July 7, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Super interview. He spoke his heart out. Loved his words on Venky, Zaheer, Gauti and Munaf. This guy can trouble English men a lot along with Zaheer it will be awesome to watch India bowling

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | July 7, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    @sweetspot - well said. Too much is said about Indian batsman not being able to handle english conditions. English batsman will find it difficult against Indian bowlers too. Its gonna be a cracking series.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | July 7, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    I think Ishant was the real hero in the partnership with Laxman. He palyed 15 over out of the partnership of 21 over. As usual Laxman got all the accoladesb tu people seem to forget that he does not farm the strike and leaves it to the tail enders to face maximum deliveries so that he can remain not out and is always the hero. Same was the case in partnership with bhajji. In fact bhajji outscored VVS.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | July 7, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Is this the guy England are preparing bouncy tracks for? Ishant must be grinning wide! Oops, Zaheer is fit too? And Yuvi back? I bet his best buddy KP will get him going!

  • POSTED BY Vijayendra on | July 7, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    welcome back. india missed an out-n-out fast bowler in their ranks.

  • POSTED BY Quazar on | July 7, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Great to see Ishant getting his rhythm back. A big-hearted cricketer with ball and bat. May he go froGreat to see Ishant getting his rhythm back. A big-hearted cricketer with ball and bat. May he go from strength to strength.m strength to strength.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | July 7, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Ishant comes across as a guy who needs to be handled with care and guided properly. I just wonder when he himself admitted that he was trying to copy zaheer why main coach and balling coach didnt stopped him from doing so?

  • POSTED BY Bilal_Choudry on | July 7, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    i hope he doesnt start to loose pace and ball spin like munaf ... please try and bowl faster and dont listen to prasad

  • POSTED BY Vikramaditya100 on | July 7, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Please don't drop down on pace Ishant. Keep going the same way. Those Englishmen will hate u. And don't forget Oz at the end of the year. U will have at least 5 wickets guaranteed there(Ponting at least 5 times)...............................

  • POSTED BY Bilal_Choudry on | July 7, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    i hope he doesnt start to loose pace and ball spin like munaf ... please try and bowl faster and dont listen to prasad

  • POSTED BY KAIRAVA on | July 7, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    33 test matches for a 100 wickets !! How many wickets will he take in his aim of playing in 100 tests ? Simply equations show that he will take 300 odd wickets. Not a great achievement for someone he bowls in a 1000 test matches.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    FTP is out Ishant and INdia is scheduled to play 102 test matches in the next 8 years, so we expect you to play all of them and bag 500 wickets! Job done, No fast bowler has got 600 wickets and you could be the first one!

  • POSTED BY NShiva on | July 7, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Great to hear an Indian fast bowler like to play 100 test cricket. God is always with you Ishant... All the best!

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    Down to earth.. Awesome man... Keep it up and hope you even improve against England!!

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | July 7, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    good luck Ishant! All the best...hope you will bring more success to Tea India.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | July 7, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    The interview seems to highlight how young Ishant is. He is still very easily influenced by people around him and trying to improve and change his game. Hopefully he can find the self-confidence to trust his game.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | July 7, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    I'm glad his goal is 100 Tests, not ODI's or T20's. His priorities are right and if he continues to work hard, he will become one of India's best bowlers. Also loved his answer to the helpful bowlers question! He was trying to beat around the bush but he indirectly said Zaheer, Munaf and Praveen are closer friends than Sreesanth. Well you can't get along with everyone. Haha!

  • POSTED BY nafzak on | July 7, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Once again Ishant Sharma proves that that cricket unites as Sanga just recently said in his great speech. I have seen time and again Pakistanis and Indians - Muslims and Hindus go at each other with venom and nasty insults. Yet, here's Ishant saying how great his teammates are - two Muslim guys- Zaheer & Munaf. Wasim Akram has also been known to help Indian fast bowlers. Sunny Gavaskar lavishes praise on Pakistani batsmen and vice versa. The players respect each other and are friends on and off the field. So here's hoping that many of us fans and supporters can also show some of the same. Thank you, Mohamed Z. Rahaman / Guyana

  • POSTED BY Unmesh_cric on | July 7, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    The thing I like about Ishant is that he is a very committed cricketer. Even when he was not in form, you could see that he is trying his level best. He bowls over after over and puts the same amount of effort throughout the day. Even when he is batting he doesn't give up..who can forget THAT partnership with Laxman? I hope he does play 100 Tests for India.

  • POSTED BY bestofluckindia on | July 7, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    At the end of the day 10-20 runs makes huge difference especially when 2 good sides play. And it is good to hear that Ishant puts a prize on his wkt. I remember Anil Kumble used to hang around even after bowling 30-35 overs.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | July 6, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    I am glad Sharma is finding himself. When i first saw him play Australia, i thought to myself, "There is the future no.1 bowler in the world. It may yet be reality before too long.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | July 6, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    England, BEWARE! If Ishant bowls those inswingers of Jan2009, you guys will be better off preparing belters!

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    well done Ishant....It just shows hard work will pay off......Ishant Zaheer PK and Munaf sree will be handfull in England this summer...Come on boys

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    well done Ishant....It just shows hard work will pay off......Ishant Zaheer PK and Munaf sree will be handfull in England this summer...Come on boys

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | July 6, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    England, BEWARE! If Ishant bowls those inswingers of Jan2009, you guys will be better off preparing belters!

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | July 6, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    I am glad Sharma is finding himself. When i first saw him play Australia, i thought to myself, "There is the future no.1 bowler in the world. It may yet be reality before too long.

  • POSTED BY bestofluckindia on | July 7, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    At the end of the day 10-20 runs makes huge difference especially when 2 good sides play. And it is good to hear that Ishant puts a prize on his wkt. I remember Anil Kumble used to hang around even after bowling 30-35 overs.

  • POSTED BY Unmesh_cric on | July 7, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    The thing I like about Ishant is that he is a very committed cricketer. Even when he was not in form, you could see that he is trying his level best. He bowls over after over and puts the same amount of effort throughout the day. Even when he is batting he doesn't give up..who can forget THAT partnership with Laxman? I hope he does play 100 Tests for India.

  • POSTED BY nafzak on | July 7, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Once again Ishant Sharma proves that that cricket unites as Sanga just recently said in his great speech. I have seen time and again Pakistanis and Indians - Muslims and Hindus go at each other with venom and nasty insults. Yet, here's Ishant saying how great his teammates are - two Muslim guys- Zaheer & Munaf. Wasim Akram has also been known to help Indian fast bowlers. Sunny Gavaskar lavishes praise on Pakistani batsmen and vice versa. The players respect each other and are friends on and off the field. So here's hoping that many of us fans and supporters can also show some of the same. Thank you, Mohamed Z. Rahaman / Guyana

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | July 7, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    I'm glad his goal is 100 Tests, not ODI's or T20's. His priorities are right and if he continues to work hard, he will become one of India's best bowlers. Also loved his answer to the helpful bowlers question! He was trying to beat around the bush but he indirectly said Zaheer, Munaf and Praveen are closer friends than Sreesanth. Well you can't get along with everyone. Haha!

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | July 7, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    The interview seems to highlight how young Ishant is. He is still very easily influenced by people around him and trying to improve and change his game. Hopefully he can find the self-confidence to trust his game.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | July 7, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    good luck Ishant! All the best...hope you will bring more success to Tea India.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    Down to earth.. Awesome man... Keep it up and hope you even improve against England!!