From a promising stimulus that pushed the great Ricky Ponting in Perth in 2008 to a seasoned campaigner whose short-ball ploy gave India a rare victory at Lord’s in 2014 to the leader of the world’s best rhythm attack in 2020 Ishant Sharma has improved as has fermented grape juice which improves with age.
On the verge of becoming the second Indian driver to win 100 test caps, Ishant sat down for a virtual Ahmedabad interaction ahead of the third test against England and looked back on his career.
By reaching the milestone
When it comes to the 100th, I honestly think it’s just a number. I never expected to play 100 test matches and once that happens I won’t set a gaming goal for myself. I will play the 100th with the same feeling, intention and aggression that I played my 99th. As long as this continues to be reflected in my bowling alley, I would love to continue to represent India.
By being excluded from the limited overs team
I think it’s a blessing in disguise. Obviously, I love to play white ball cricket. But if I had played all three formats, I wouldn’t have played 100 tests. I’m only 32, not 42. If I had played white ball cricket it might not have happened so soon, but I’m sure with the longevity I have and the kind of strain I put on my body to staying in shape wouldn’t have been a problem. .
IND vs ENG: Jofra Archer backs England’s rest and rotation policy
On immediate objectives
I only have one format to play, so Test Championship is like the World Cup for me. If we can reach the final and keep winning it, for me it would be the same feeling as winning the World Cup or the Champions Trophy.
IND vs ENG: Motera pitch has a lot of grass but I’m sure it won’t be there on game day, says Anderson
On memories of the first test in Dhaka in 2007
Fortunately, Ravi sir (Shastri) was the cricket manager at the time and now he is the coach of my 100th. I was visibly nervous, with a loud crowd at the stadium but he said to me, “Once you get into the pitch don’t think of the crowd, just think of your bowling alley.
India lollipops with most test caps
Kapil Dev (1978-1994) 131
Ishant Sharma (2007 – ongoing) 99
Zaheer Khan (2000-2014) 92