Ishant Sharma says he hasn't been the unluckiest bowler

At the end of the first innings of the fourth Test at Adelaide, Ishant Sharma’s bowling figures was 0 for 100 Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Adelaide: Jan 25, 2012

Ishant Sharma has been toiling hard for the past one month but does not have results to show for his on-field efforts during the tour of Australia.

The lanky fast bowler however doesn’t want to consider himself unlucky for not getting wickets and would like to strive hard rather than sulk.

“Am I the unluckiest bowler? You can’t say that because cricket is a funny game. You never know what’s going to happen next. All you can do is to hope for the best,” Ishant who went wicketless for 100 runs during his 30-over spell said.

“When you choose fast bowling, it’s a tough job. When you are bowling on flat tracks in India and you don’t get anything out of it, you still carry on because bowling for your country is a big motivation. That remains the most important thing for me,” he said.

Often, in the nets, Sharma has been seen getting tips from Sachin Tendulkar and to outsiders it has appeared as if he has wanted him to bowl fuller.

“He doesn’t tell me to bowl full because he knows it’s not my natural style. He tells me to stick to my natural style, just swing a little if you can, because conditions are helpful to swing bowling. He says if you can swing, you have better chance to get them out.”

Ishant feels that there are times when he comes in as one-change, it’s a semi-new ball and it doesn’t swing as much as expected.

“Sometimes, when I bowl as one change, the ball is not conducive for swing. In those times, you need to be patient and keep bowling in the right areas.”

Many experts feel that one needs to bowl at fuller length but Ishant begs to differ.

“I know people keep saying bowl fuller. But I know what’s important for me. For me, it’s important to vary my length.

That works for me. I try to work on my strength.”

“If you are bowling on a track such as this, the ball will not travel to the slips. This is a slow track, may be you need short cover, short mid-wicket. Batsmen don’t only get out in slips alone. In Melbourne, when they were 214 for six, you wanted to contain runs. For if a wicket falls, you are suddenly back in the game.”

The pacer who has suffered in the past due to dodgy ankle however said that he hasn’t had any problems since playing the practice games in Canberra.

“After injection in Canberra, my ankle has been perfectly fine. I don’t feel the pain, so I don’t need to consult anyone at the moment.”

The erratic show by Indian seamers has also brought the role of bowling coach Eric Simmons under scanner but Ishant chose to defend the South African.

“Simmons is a nice coach and I am getting alone well with him. It’s a good between us, we talk a lot about bowling. He doesn’t want me to change too much with my bowling style. You never know, if we did so I would be dropped from the side as I once was. We don’t want that to happen.”

Ishant defended his team’s bowling effort saying that save Perth, they have done a good job.

“Except Perth, we have bowled well. Here, even in Adelaide, we bowled well. It’s just luck is not favouring us.

We are bowling in right areas and trying to be patient. Wicket is flat. We are also unlucky. We are beating bats, getting edges but it’s falling short of fielders. You can’t do much.

Hopefully luck would favour us.”

Rahul Dravid getting bowled for the sixth time in seven innings must have been an embarrassment for the batsman but Ishant feels there is nothing wrong with his technique.

“If you are talking about technique, none of the batsman in the world have better than him. His performance says everything. He is the second highest run-getter in Test history. I don’t think he needs to worry about.”

Ishant doesn’t know who would lead India’s fightback on the third day tomorrow but was confident his team could rally around in this game.

“Obviously, we are positive. Even in 2003, they scored 550-odd runs but we won the game. We are looking for next three good days. This is a kind of track like you have in India. It’s a good track for us to score runs.”

Ishant is a bit relieved that it’s an away series and the players have not been exposed to the harsh criticism that has been happening back home.

“When we are playing abroad, it’s good for us. We don’t watch TV or anything. Even our family doesn’t talk about it.

Except cricket, we talk about everything.”(PTI)