Ishant Sharma will miss the opening Test against South Africa in Mohali in November ©
Ishant Sharma will miss the opening Test against South Africa in Mohali in November © Getty Images

Venkatesh Prasad, the former Indian pacer, has praised Indian Test cricket team’s captain Virat Kohli for backing his teammates in difficult situations and suggested that the current bonding in the dressing room is “definitely refreshing.” He further added, “It’s always nice to know that your captain backs you in all situations. A captain’s backing always builds confidence.” Prasad said that in relation to the incident involving Ishant Sharma’s and Sri Lanka’s Dhammika Prasad, during India’s recent tour of Sri Lanka that ended with a first away series victory for the Indians since 2011. Ishant’s aggression cost him a one-Test ban that has now forced him to miss the opening Test against South Africa at Mohali in November. READ: Virat Kohli might replace MS Dhoni as Indian ODI captain against South Africa in October

Meanwhile, cricketer-turned-writer Aakash Chopra had other thoughts while he expressed disappointment on Ishant’s behaviour in the final Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo. According to the Times of India, he said, “Aggression for me is not just verbal aggression. For me the kind of determination and grit shown by Cheteshwar Pujara during his unbeaten century in the third Test was also aggression. Virat might have backed Ishant in front of the media, but I am sure he will not be pleased to lose his premier bowler for the Mohali Test. The Mohali pitch has been known to assist pace bowlers in the past.”

“Ishant bowled superbly right from his very first ball of the first Test in Galle. There was no doubt that the defeat in the Galle Test was demoralizing for the team. We are not privy to conversations in the dressing room, but the entire team, and Ishant in particular, seemed pumped up for the challenge for the second Test at the P Sara Oval,” he said. READ: Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri’s philosophy of aggression questioned by Sanjay Manjrekar

“His behaviour against Dhammika Prasad, however, was pretty surprising to me. The Sri Lankan paceman might have been bowling deliberate no-balls and bouncers, but that’s nothing new in international cricket. The Ishant that I know doesn’t behave like that with anyone. I watched him bowl bouncers at Lord’s as well but at that time, he didn’t lose his,” he further added.