When Ishant Sharma first came into scene, he was hyped as India’s best young bowler- a great fast bowler in the making.
Ishant Sharma – who surprised everyone with his pace and bounce in the bilateral series between India and Australia in 2008, has got nothing to show at the current moment. No one can forget his spell at the WACA, Perth where he gave problems to one of the batting greats – Ricky Ponting.
He was consistently troubling him with his pace and bounce and was given an extended spell just to get the wicket India were craving for. Anil Kumble (the then captain of the Indian Test side) asked him-” ek aur daalega”, Ishant said-” haan daalunga”. And that one extra over got him the wicket of Ponting.
Ishant was the leading wicket taker with 16 wickets in the Border Gavasakar Trophy played in 2008-2009. This day marked the rise of a quick fast bowler who has the ability to pick wickets.
Who can forget the famous Mohali win vs Australia in 2010, where VVS batted magnificently well to clinch the victory from the jaws of defeat. In this match as well, Ishant gained popularity, not for his bowling but for his ability to hang in there as a batsman when needed. Ishant and VVS put up a 81 run stand in which Ishant gave the contribution of 31 runs and was hence given the opportunities to play as the nightwatchman.
In 2010, West Indies, Ishant once again was the leading wicket taker with 22 wickets with an impressive average of 16.86. In this series, he became the fifth youngest bowler to reach the landmark of 100 test wickets. However, after this series India suffered two whitewashes at England and Australia and Ishant’s form was diminishing at a rapid rate. This was the beginning of the end.
Often considered unlucky, Ishant has not put any decent bowling performance in the past. How can you be unlucky if you have played 51 tests with an average of 37.99?
For someone who has represented his country for 51 Tests and 67 ODI’s, Ishant has not been up to the standard which was expected of him after his initial start. Mohali loss still haunts every Indian in which the pacer gave away 30 runs and India ended up loosing just because of that one over.
Nevertheless, he is only 25, he can only improve from here, he has got time on his side, he needs to work hard on his bowling, if he wants to get back into the Indian side.