Before 2017, there came a phase when Ishant Sharma had stopped enjoying his bowling but then a stint with English county club Sussex helped him rediscover the joy which reflected on his performance too. <p></p> <p></p>"People keep saying Ishant 2.0, which it makes it sound like I am a robot! But the phase before 2017 was one when the pressure to perform was a lot," Ishant said. "I gave me sleepless nights, and I hardly found any joy in my bowling. My county stint with Sussex was what changed everything." <p></p> <p></p>Throwing light on his time with Sussex where he was working with their coach Jason Gillespie, Ishant said it was a 'gruelling stint' which he grew accustomed to. <p></p> <p></p>"It was a gruelling stint for me because I was bowling 22-23 overs in a day, batting as well, and then coming back home to do the chores. It was a tough drill but somehow I enjoyed it a lot," he recalled. <p></p> <p></p>The 31-year-old, who has 297 wickets from 97 Tests so far, learnt a lot about himself while playing county cricket that changed his outlook. <p></p> <p></p>"It was kind of a self-realisation also," he said. "I think I enjoyed a lot more there and I ended up learning a lot about myself - credit also to Jason Gillespie who was my coach there. When I came back to India to play after that, I felt a lot free and focused only on enjoying the present, which took off a lot of pressure from me. That change in mindset is the reason for me being an improved cricketer today." <p></p> <p></p>With no cricket not resuming for the foreseeable future and sportspersons confined indoors, Ishant says it was tough accepting the new normal but he has since changed his schedule accordingly <p></p> <p></p>"I've started waking up at 5 am and I ensure that I'm putting in a running session in the morning and then working out during the day to stay very fit. I think it's really important to be very disciplined if you are keep performing at the highest level, and I think that is what sets the best apart from average," he said.