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

'I have been bowling well since SA' - Ishant

Abhishek Purohit in Wellington

February 14, 2014

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A
'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.


Ishant Sharma was on fire in the morning session, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, February 14, 2014
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" © Getty Images
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"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

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Posted by   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 team...so hope india to win t20 world cup n asia cup....

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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

Posted by   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.

Posted by SoyQuearns 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

Posted by kahvas 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist 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.

Posted by NikhilNair 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.

Posted by bhushanB on (February 14, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

He spoke the truth,..... I saw that he bowled the same as always... every over there are those 2 balls.. that say.. hit me out of the park.... initially the pitch has some spice.. so they could not hit him. but once settled. they did tear him apart......

true he has not changed a thing... just lady luck smiled a bit.. and he got those... once the fav conditions are gone.. we have our usual Ishant back... only bad thing is.. we had to live with him... for a year or two... based on these two performances...

Posted by LateefLabeeb on (February 14, 2014, 19:19 GMT)

Ishant is not a good bowler at all he is very much similar to Muhammad Sami of Pakistan and Bangladeshi fast bowlers. Someone commented above on the basis of this performance he will be retaining his spot in the national side...bad for india good for other teams...carry on indian selectors and mr.dhoni...

Posted by ashutosh.p on (February 14, 2014, 18:58 GMT)

Thats right, 100 % true. He has not changed he is still same and bowling same. It just that this perticular pitch and condition suited his bowling. For being a good bowler you need to adopt the condition and bowl accordingly and Ishant does not have that. Unfortunatly on the basis of this match he will retail his place for another 2 years.

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 14, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

Ishanth has bowled well in th series and congrats 2 him but if he says he is bowling th same way all along he bowled since 2008 dont know what 2 say.an average of over 36 is not good.hope he continues in the same form as this series.he is a hardworking bowler who is tall hits the deck hard.can bowl fast too and is still 25.he can definitely bring his average to less than 30.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

Ishant didn't look like the same this match, the ball was swinging. I never saw Ishant swinging the ball, he certainly improved. Hope he continues

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 18:10 GMT)

Reply to Bismoy. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can take wickets on green top? Then how come Zak did not get a single wicket? I like Ishant, but not his fan. Please give credit when it is due and criticize him when it is called for. .

Posted by inswing on (February 14, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

One can only hope that Ishant doesn't maintain his place in the team for next 5 years on the basis of this one performance while averaging over 40 an 50. Like he kept his place in the team for troubling one batsmen 5 years ago while averaging over 40 and 50. Yes he gave 100 runs and took one wicket, but you know, he really troubled Ponting once many years ago! How stupid is that? If he is actually a better bowler more power to him.

Posted by bismoy on (February 14, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

Ishant is one of the worst bowler who played international cricket.any tom dick and harry can take wicket in green wickets, when you have 3 bowler and one among them is playing only because of past record.Australia and English batman can safely increase there average with ishant bowling.getting cheap wickets of newzeland and westindies and calling yourself international bowler is joke.

Posted by IndTheBest on (February 14, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

People hails good performances but when yourself says it arrogantly then it becomes ridiculous. Everyone knows that your last two performances were better than what you had been doing before for last couple of years but if you say that last two performances were similar to your earlier ones then you are talking you being very ordinary. I noticed that Ishant performs better when Zaheer is on the field and keep mentoring him. Without Zaheer, Ishant seems a club/net bowler. Washim and Waqar tried to coach him in IPL but everyone knows the result. There is no doubt that Ishant is talented but Indian team can't afford to have non-performing Zaheer in the team to have Ishant performing well.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 14:56 GMT)

Every non Indian batsman in the world will be licking their lips at this performance, they get to pummel his bowling for 2-3 more years. He has not developed his game in any way in the past few years, when he is hit for six bowling short he tries it again, gets hit out of the park and looks bewildered as to why that happens time and time again. A good seam bowler susses out the length to bowl on a pitch quickly and can exert some pressure when there is no movement and has a plan b. i dont think he has a plan A. That said with Bhuvi, Yadav, Shami, Aaron, Mohit in the wings I think all of those bowlers should be made to fight tooth and nail for a spot in the side, one performance every year is not enough, he might get 3 performances in a year but you need a consistent performer, shami looks very impressive

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 14, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Chill guys, lack of PR skills, i guess he wanted to say onething but ended up saying something else. Its a bit like Saeed Ajmal or Afridi.. even Viru spoke like that in most press. its just language skills and media training, which we in sub continent dont give attention to.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

Ishant you have to prove yourself consistently no one can see your last two best performances , I think you remember when you gave 28 runs in a over so doesn't matter these two performance and if do you think that you are best bowler for Indian team then only one way prove it by your bowling not by your tongue.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 13:47 GMT)

Completely agree with Saad Parekh. The arrogance! After years and years of mediocrity he has stitched together good performances in 2 consecutive test matches and he has the nerve to say that he has been bowling like this for a long time! In fact this has become the way most Indian cricketers talk. That they are always doing well. Ashwin talks much the same way after bowling almost 100 overs w/o an international wicket!

Posted by usernames on (February 14, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

Come on. This is coming from a bowler who's the only one to have played all the away tours... the fans suffer from a short term memory more than anyone else. He couldn't do anything in England, Australia, SA... and is doing well against NZ and thinks he can speak whatever he wants. He needs to be consistent over the next year or two.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

You don't look at one or 2 performances and then try to explain performances. In plain terms, we call it "chance". I don't understand why commentators and sportspeople don't understand the play of chance in life. If you play anyone enough times, it is matter of chance he will pick up 5 wickets a few times!

Posted by KishorKumar25 on (February 14, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

Shami will be the pace spearhead for india soon, Shami is for all conditions, there couple of young pace bowlers in J&K too, I hope BCCI gives them more expoture in A tours.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Yes I agree with some of the views here. Ishant bowls most of the time in India on unfriendly wickets. What with the new ODI rules it has become very tough for seamers on Indian wickets. We could as well use bowling machines for ODI in India and will get the same result. Hats off Ishant, too bad you have to go and explain to the press everytime. But trust me your time will come. You will spear head India soon.

Posted by A.Ak on (February 14, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

Yes he did well in the last two tests, You are just doing what you are supposed to be doing. move on, focus on consistency.

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 14, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

I always maintained that Ishant is a good bowler for India. I need to stress that "for India". India just don't have a fast bowler who look threatening. Only one who can be recognized as an international class bowler is Ishant. So, that is one of the very few decisions of Dhoni I have supported. For those of you who says that Ishant can't contain the run flow in ODI's and T20I's, the answer is: No fast bowlers can contain batsmen in the limited over formats. Ishant is playing most of those limited over matches in the Indian pitches which are belters. People always seems to think that it is the Indian bowlers' fault when the opposition batsmen scores. But, when the Indian batsmen scores, it is never the fault of the opposition bowlers. It is always the batsmen's magnificent skill. It is a HUGE ask to contain the likes of Gayles, Samy's, Pollard's, McCullum's, Bailey's, Warner's, Morgan's etc. Especially so, when they are playing on belters.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

ok. there comes his headlines. And now get ready for another year of mediocrity. England and Australia will be licking their lips.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 14, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

@Saad Parekh, in the last 4 tests and 7 innings in SA and NZ India bowled well only in 3 innings. SA First Test First Inn, NZ First Test Second Inn and NZ Second Test First Inn. On all three Ishant was leading taking 4, 6 and 6. It is not just a couple of good performances. I find Indian fans always say the wrong things. May be this is why India is so poor in cricket. You just don't allow good ones to survive and compete for India.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 10:23 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" That is precisely the problem Ishant. Your the same, not improving. And this arrogance after couple of good performances wouldn't help the matter

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

Ishant is a good Test Bowler in away series, proven time and again. I think he's bereft of ideas on Indian pitches. Maybe, India should look to use him only as the 3rd seamer option. Shami is definitely No. 1 seamer and maybe Bhuvi (or) Zak depending on condtions as 2nd seamer.

Posted by HarrowXI on (February 14, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

Can you please remind him who is james faulkner ?

He might be suffering from short term memory loss. This is helpful green surface. He dont have any skill to take wickets or contain batsman in T 20 and ODIS. He is kind of bowler who is okay in test matches. When there is nothing happening and captain needs a bowler who does (donkey work) That is you ishant.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

Ishant is just a good bowler only in NZ

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 14, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

Loved that last statement 'the ball is coming on to the bat.....new kookabura move a lot' spoke like a batsman not like a night watchman. I recollect that superb innings with VVS at Mohali and he has had a few good nightwatchman innings in his career. Can we hold on for first 30 mins? Too much to ask on this pitch agasinst a good bowling attack.

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