Ishant Sharma now has 200 Test wickets from 65 matches © Getty Images
Ishant Sharma now has 200 Test wickets from 65 matches © Getty Images

Born September 2, 1988, Ishant Sharma probably received one of his best birthday gifts ever by bagging his 200th Test wicket a day prior to his 27th birthday. The fast bowler played a crucial role in India’s victory in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka, which also happened to be India’s long awaited away win since 2011. With the end of that tour, Ishant surely has etched himself as India’s current leading pacer, who can single-handedly turn the tables around in a game. His 200th wicket demonstrated his patience, aggression and discipline because he claimed that after going wicketless for really long time since early wickets in the second innings. READ: Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan wish Ishant Sharma on 27th birthday

He now has exactly 200 Test wickets from 65 matches with Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews unwillingly becoming the landmark wicket for the fast bowler on the fifth day of the final Test at Colombo. Also, for his five-wicket haul in the first innings and another added three scalps in the final innings earned him heaps of appreciation from the pundits. However, the on-field incident with Dhammika Prasad spoiled his overall superb series by handing him a one-Test ban, meaning India will be without his services for the opening contest when they host South Africa later in the year.

One of the recent memorable moments of Ishant in the whites was surely his seven-wicket haul that had destroyed the English side at Lord’s eventually giving the visitors an incredible victory by a margin of 95 runs. India had finished on the winning side at Lord’s only for the second time in 82 years, which diverted everyone’s eyes towards Ishant’s performance who had returned a career-best figures of 7 for 74. Ishant invited comparisons with the brilliant spell in Perth in 2008 when he roughed up the Australians including Ricky Ponting in his backyard: that encouraged India’s hopes that they had a great fast bowler to reckon with. READ: Ishant Sharma’s display of aggression pathetic, feels Bishan Singh Bedi

With Ishant being only the fourth Indian paceman and eighth Indian bowler to reach the milestone of 200 Test wickets, he has justified that he indeed is one of the best finds of Indian cricket.

A very Happy Birthday, Ishant!

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)