New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 1st day February 14, 2014

'I have been bowling well since SA' - Ishant


'I have been bowling well since SA tour' - Ishant

It was an unusually combative Ishant Sharma who walked into the press conference after taking his best Test figures of 6 for 51. He had the air of a man who had proved the doubters wrong again, and did not understand why there had to have been doubts in the first place. A man who believed he had always put in the toil, but could not control the perceptions people had developed about him. He even suggested that he was dropped for "important tours" and picked for "easy" ones.

Was this the best he had bowled in a Test? He repeated what he had said earlier on the tour - that he had been bowling well for a while, and that he hadn't done much differently in this series.

"Even in the last presser, I (said I) have been bowling well since South Africa," Ishant said. "People are just recognising it now because I am taking wickets. I don't analyse my bowling a lot. At this stage, it is a lot about the mindset, about what you are thinking before the game. I was the same when I bowled to Ponting, I was the same when I got the Man of the Series against West Indies (in 2011), and I am still the same. It's become more important what people think about.

"Only from experience do you learn. I have seen enough ups and downs in my life. When there is an important tour, I always get dropped and when there is an easy tour, then I am there. It's a very hard thing for me but whatever I do for myself I did. I keep on doing what I can."

When asked whether he had used a helpful pitch better than the other bowlers, Ishant said while he had the wickets to show, Zaheer Khan had been unfortunate not to pick up any. "Everyone bowled in good areas but I got the rewards and so did (Mohammed) Shami. Zak pa was very unlucky that he didn't get a wicket, got one off a no-ball."

Ishant said it was nice to have made first use of the conditions and added that India had learned from their first-innings showing in Auckland, where they had allowed New Zealand to post 503 after having reduced them to 30 for 3. "Obviously good to win the toss... spongy bounce, there was some juice and we bowled with great discipline in the morning. In Auckland maybe we got a bit carried away looking at the fresh pitch but second innings in Auckland we learnt that if we bowl with discipline, we will get more rewards. And that's what we did today, bowled with discipline in the right areas, looked to bowl well rather than take wickets."

Ishant had a role to play with the bat as well, coming out as nightwatchman to join half-centurion Shikhar Dhawan after the late fall of Cheteshwar Pujara. He survived 16 balls, and felt the pitch had become less spiteful compared to the morning. "Obviously we are very happy with how Shikhar played today. Even Pujara, although he didn't get many runs, he hung in there for a long time. We will try to get as many runs as we can. Wicket is a bit better now, the ball is coming on to the bat nicely. It was moving around in the morning but for the length I batted, it didn't move that much. Obviously the new Kookaburra moves a lot more."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    Mr. Ishant wat happened to u in da 2nd innings in basin reserve?...u r just there in team 'cox of politics in da d team.u can never change....india will win only if u r thrown out of da hope india to win t20 world cup n asia cup....

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    Ishant Sharma: "I was the same when I bowled to Ponting, I was the same when I got the Man of the Series against West Indies (in 2011), and I am still the same". Mr. Ishant plz tell me What you were when you got only 11 wickets from 4 tests in England & 5 wickets from 4 tests in Australia.

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    SO ishant is again going to proclaim himself as India's bowling spearhead. In 2011 WI tour, he got 22 wickets from 3 tests and then he said "he is ready for the challenge against England. But in 4 tests against England high class batting lineup & that too in bowler friendly conditions, he got only 11 wickets from 4 tests and in Australia, he managed to get ONLY 5 wickets from 4 tests. This NZ side doesn't have good tests batsmen except Ross Taylor & Brendon Mc CUllum. Ishant's real test would be in England and Australia

  • Android on February 15, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Ridiculous to say he is bowling the same for 5 years. Does that mean he has not learnt anything new even after 5 years of international cricket? No wonder batsmen world over are blasting him out of the park. Let's hope bowling in his last 3 innings wasn't a fluke

  • Android on February 15, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    you badly need a haircut Mr ishant. Pl learn how to bowl a yorker, swing and a seam up with a minimum speed of 140kmph. stop boasting yourself with just two lucky innings against a mediocre team. learn fast.

  • Soy on February 15, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    What a bowler Ishant is! While he may have his critics he has proven to be a Splinter to the Black Caps. He has this habit of nibbling the ball and combined with his instinct of not falling into a baited trap of pitching the ball too full or too short he has scurried a bag of wickets. The Black Caps can be forgiven for thinking that Ishant is spreading the plague over their batting, he just will not stop coming after them. Combined with his Rizzo like determination I believe he will lead the nest of Indian quicks. Well Done "Mautam" Ishant

  • Kah on February 14, 2014, 23:19 GMT

    Ishant Sharma, agreed you bowled well. Though, you need to repeat this performance consistently to justify your place in the side. If Ishant is picked in ODI's especially in the Indian subcontinent he will be thrashed to all corners of the ground. Ishant is handy when it comes to Australian, NZ pitches in a test match, he has never ever been an effective bowler in ODI's. Never remember him winning any odi's, so he should be a test specialist for international tours.

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    This has to be the biggest joke of cricket history. I would not even let Ishant Sharma play for my under 12 kiddie team. Abhishek Purohit really needs to find something better to do with his time than waste writing about bowlers who are not worth playing international cricket.

  • Srinivas on February 14, 2014, 21:07 GMT

    Ishant beta, listen - you can't bowl seam up even after playing international cricket for how many years now? 7 Years, is it? So, cheers to you for getting lucky in 2 innings. Have you heard the word consistency? Consistency comes by bowling properly but not due to luck. Ishant beta, first learn how to bowl with upright seam. If you have noticed, the seam isn't badly scrambled-up as before. And that's what lead to those wickets. If you did learn to bowl with less scrambled seam, then cheers to you. Otherwise, cheers to you for your luck that the scrambled seam meant the ball could go any which way after pitching. Guess what, you will be taken for cleaners on a pace unfriendly pitch if you continue to be unable to bowl with upright seam. You have been bowling well since SA? So, who was that bowler who bowled rubbish in the ODIs? Number of wickets won't always tell the complete story. Can you bowl yorkers Ishant beta? Can you generate reverse swing? So, please shut it and move on.

  • Nikhil on February 14, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    This could a turning point for Ishant. I hope he can remain a wicket taker for a long time to come. He has got the most experience among the pacers, and he could be a leader if he remains consistent.

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