ishant

Former Indian international Ashish Nehra has one simple advice for the Indian fast bowlers ahead of the five-match Test series between England and India starting on August 1 at Birmingham – bowl full.

Nehra, who has played 17 Test for India and two of which were in England, reckoned  that in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (back injury), Ishant Sharma will be skipper Virat Kohli’s go-to man during the Test series and his fitness throughout the series will be crucial for India.

“He (Ishant) is a workhorse and the captain will look to him for long spells, but he has to be careful not to burn out. He should be able to tell the captain (if he is) being overused,” Nehra said in a interview to ESPN Cricinfo.

“This summer, the way the weather is in England, the wickets are not swinging much. He can give you 22-23 overs a day, and his long spells will help the other two [fast] bowlers. For him to be fit will be very important for India,” said Nehra about his Delhi teammate who was instrumental in India winning a Test match at Lord’s during the 2014 tour.

Riding on Ishant’s seven for 74 in the second innings, India registered a memorable 95-run win. In that match, Ishant had relied on back-of-length deliveries to prize out wickets; however, Nehra feels Ishant would need to alter his length this time around.

“Especially against someone like Alastair Cook, the length should be up, because he will bowl across him. Cook is very good at cutting and pulling, so if Ishant can bowl up to him and keep him quiet, it will be really good on any kind of wicket,” said the 39-year-old, who announced his retirement from international cricket last year.

The former Delhi pacer had similar advice for Umesh Yadav as well. While terming Umesh as the fitness member of the squad, Nehra emphasised that the Vidarbha bowler would need to be disciplined.

“Whenever there is some assistance from the pitch, he should look to bowl up and try to swing the ball, which he was trying to do with the Kookaburra in the T20Is and ODIs in England,”said Nehra adding, “Umesh looks to bowl up, but he needs to do everything [within] the stumps. He should not bowl too many deliveries that a batsman can flick to leg or cut to off.”

The fast bowler went on to add that Mohammed Shami, who generally bowls full, need to be managed well owing to his  fitness issues. “He (Shami) has had a bad knee. He has not played a lot of cricket recently, The captain also has to look after Shami”, added Nehra.