Ishant Sharma Biography
If there was any young pacer who commanded the captain and selectors’ faith for the longest time, it has to Ishant Sharma. Here was a lanky figure with long locks of hair and myriad chains swinging from his neck. Running in and hitting the deck at over 140 kmph consistently, Ishant caught the eyes of the selectors early.
The Delhi boy made it to the Indian team at the young age of 19 for a tour to Bangladesh. In only his second Test, he bagged a five-for against Pakistan. However, what changed the course of Ishant’s career was one nine-over spell at Perth where he kept Ricky Ponting hopping in 2007-08.
With his height, he could extract copious bounce out of the deck. That coupled with a seaming ball at good pace made it further difficult for the batsmen. That spell to Ponting ensured that he was going to be a long-term prospect for India. But the pacer they had expected to continue to flourish started dipping.
The pace dropped and the length wasn’t as testing as it used to be. Ishant started being an inconsistent feature in the limited overs set-up, while the Tests continued his way. He picked two five-wicket hauls and ended as the leading wicket-taker with 22 scalps on the tour to West Indies in 2012, and did a decent job in New Zealand in 2013-14.
But Ishant’s habit of being erratic was costing runs and the matches for India. In October 2013, he conceded 30 in an over — the most by an Indian bowler in ODIs — as Australia stole a lost game at the death.