Home > Features >

Could Ishant Sharma’s case have been handled better?

Both Ishant Sharma (left) and Steven Finn have struggled for confeidence and form in recent times © Getty Images
Both Ishant Sharma (left) and Steven Finn have struggled for confidence and form in recent times © Getty Images

While the lanky pacer, Ishant Sharma bears the brunt of leaking runs despite continuous backing from captain MS Dhoni and selectors, Abhijit Banare looks at whether things could have been handled in a better manner.

 

During the post match presentation after the second One-Day International (ODI) between New Zealand and India at Seddon Park, Hamilton, MS Dhoni praised Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for their performance during the death overs. However, as expected, Ishant Sharma continues to be a headache for the Indian skipper.  The pacer has shown no signs of even remotely improving and instead, has only gone from bad to worse. It’s not just the critics, but the fans too are coming up with funny tweets and comparisons to ridicule the pacer. But very little has come out on what really is the reason behind his embarrassing performances match after match.

Without getting in to the complexities of his performance, spells and selections, let’s thinks of some basic arguments. Ishant, by virtue of playing for India for more than five years now, in view of the selectors is considered as the leading pacer. But, after some impressive performances in Australia in 2008 series, it has been a bumpy ride with no clear direction. He touched the nadir in 2013 after being smashed by James Faulkner. The selectors surprised everyone by still taking him to South Africa, where except for one notable outing in the Tests with him testing the South African batsmen consistently, he was below par. Still the selectors chose to plump for the pacer for the tour of New Zealand.

As in South Africa and New Zealand, conditions suit quickies, pacers are expected to perform much better than they do in India. Still Ishant hasn’t been able to deliver. It is unlikely that selectors would have completely ignored his poor showing or Indian bowling, Joe Dawes wouldn’t have tried to work on Ishant’s flaws. Yet, at the end of the day, the results have not been up to the mark. In India, flopping miserably in the international arena means being turned into a laughing stock. In fact, when the runs or wickets dry up, it becomes a matter of salvaging pride rather than focusing on what has gone wrong.

Is Ishant having a psychological issue to deal with? And even if he does, is there any mechanism where this can be dealt without being ridiculed by media? The pacer might be going through what Steven Finn of England has been in recent times. It may not necessarily be a serious issue like Jonathan Trott faces, but players do need a break which can help in dealing with such issues. They can still run in hard and deliver for the team. But many times, it is all in the mind, and one should have clarity of thought to perform. The England management was proactive in dealing with a pacer like Finn which doesn’t seem to be the case with Ishant, as he is playing match after match and getting hit all over the park.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had absolutely no hesitation in sending back Finn to work upon his technical aspects and hopefully, comeback as an improved bowler. Having seen enough of Ishant’s poor performances, will the Indian team management consider sending back Ishant too? Do they have faith in him to send him back and be sure of him returning as an improved bowler? Maybe it can turn out to be a scenario where Ishant is sent back home and is replaced by another makeshift pacer. And when Ishant is again fit and firing, he won’t be considered for selection. England bowling coach, David Saker has spoken openly about Finn being part of England’s future plans, and they will wait for him to sort out his issues. Such reassurance will go a long way when a player is going through a rough patch.

Considering that he emerged as one of the few tall pacers who could succeed on any wicket, Ishant has failed to live up to the promise, but whether the team management and board will back him by giving him a much needed break is something to watch out for.

 

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 3rd ODI at Dhaka: Zimbabwe flatter as Bangladesh win by 124 runs

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 1: Pakistan finish at 281/3 at stumps

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan South Africa South Africa vs Australia Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali races to half-century off 25 balls

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Alastair Cook dismissed by Tillakaratne Dilshan

Phil Hughes injury: Phil Simmons hopes for batsman’s quick recovery

Sri Lanka set huge 318-run target versus England in 1st ODI at Colombo

India Women vs South Africa Women 2014: Proteas set a target of 187 for Indians

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here