Former Indian pacer Ishant Sharma was not amused when he was asked about whether India were ready to shed their "poor travellers" tag.
Indian pacer Ishant Sharma was not amused when he was asked about whether India were ready to shed their “poor travellers” tag.

Former Indian pacer Ishant Sharma was not amused when he was asked about whether India were ready to shed their “poor travellers” tag.

“We are not concerned about tags because as a team we know we gave our 100 percent. We shouldn’t really care what others are talking about,” Ishant told PTI in an interview. “Because in the field, we are the ones who are going through hard times. You only have support of whole bunch of players. So we don’t really care what people talk about us.

“No one is hurt more than us when we don’t win matches because we are the ones playing on the field,” said Ishant referring to the recent 1-4 defeat against England,” he said ahead of India’s tour of Australia.

The most capped Test player (87 games) in the current team, Ishant had been a part of Indian sides during tours of 2007-08, 2011-2012 and 2014-2015.

“I always go for the kill because when you play for your country, you can’t think of a second chance. I am 30 right now. I don’t know if I will be there for the next tour (of Australia in 2022-23) as I will be 34 by then. I will give my level best on this tour,” Ishant said during an interaction after playing his first competitive game in two months since the tour of England.

Ishant, who got 18 wickets in five Tests in England, bowled far better than the figure suggests. The 30-year-old feels that he has matured as a bowler and it’s the mental state that at times dictates on-field performances.

“I am matured right now and I know my field settings and bowl according to situations. As you grow old, there is lot of wear and tear in your body. It’s all about the mental state. If you are fit and in good mind space, you can say you are bowling well,” said Ishant, who has 256 wickets from 87 Tests.

As someone, who has played more Tests than skipper Virat Kohli (73), Ishant’s aim is to mentor the next line of pacers in a manner that they can also share their expertise with others in a few years time.

“I share my experience, I mean whatever experience I have. I can set the field and tell them which lengths to bowl on particular tracks. Once the younger lot becomes senior, they should also then guide the juniors.