Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a promotional event here, the 22-year-old Ishant Sharma admits going through the worst phase of his still-nascent international career.
Selection meetings haven't really gone Ishant's way either over the last couple of months - be it for the short tour to Zimbabwe, the India A sojourn to England or the Asia Cup - receiving the selectors' snub on each occasion.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a promotional event here, the 22-year-old admits going through the worst phase of his still-nascent international career. Excerpts:
How have you been dealing with not being able to play any competitive cricket?
The more you play, the more you learn. I never say no even when it comes to playing for my company, ONGC. I want to play as many matches as possible because I get to learn a lot by playing more games. But these things aren't in my hand. I have been working hard with my old coach.
What facets of your bowling have you been working on?
He had identified a few technical flaws in my bowling that had developed along the way - things like my left arm not going the right way, and the position of my right arm. I am taking a serious look at it and working to get back to my best.
It was during the IPL last year in South Africa that the downturn in your fortunes began. Did playing for the controversy-ridden KKR have an effect on your psyche?
I have always believed that you have to concentrate on your own game and somehow ignore whatever is happening around you. But being part of KKR has helped this year, (especially) getting to work under Wasim Akram.
Many experts believed that Ishant Sharma had lost his confidence completely since last year. How do you react?
I believe if you enjoy your cricket, it is good for you. Things really started going bad for me at the ICC World Twenty20 (in 2009), and after that we went to the West Indies where I got dropped. I did not get much opportunity after that and I started putting pressure on myself to keep taking wickets and performing better.
Do you think you have an advantage for starting at such a young age?
I agree there are advantages of starting young. But you can't think about it too much, because nobody knows when your last day will come and how long your career will last.
How are you planning to regain the lost confidence?
I will try and get some match practice by playing in local matches and for my company, which will also help me improve my fitness.