What’s the story?
Ishant Sharma has had a number of failures in his illustrious career. Through all of it, he has shown that he had the grit to recover and come back stronger. However, on February 20th, when we went unpicked at the IPL auction, one felt that he might not be able to recover from that particular setback.
Extra cover: Sportskeeda’s Unsold XI at the IPL auction 2017
Just a day ahead of the first game, all of it would change for the lanky Delhi-born pacer as his acquisition by Kings XI Punjab became official. It was a glorious moment for the 28-year-old who often doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
After acquiring his services, the Mohali-based franchise has a problem of plenty in the seamers department with the likes of Varun Aaron, Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma already plying their trade for the team.
Speaking about what distinguishes him from the pack, he said, “My experience makes me stand out. After all the years that I have played international cricket, I can bring my experience to the dressing room and share it with the youngsters. It is all about the experience of playing in different situations, and how to face it, how to bowl in different situations.” he said to Cricbuzz.
Ishant Sharma chose a base price of 2 crores, the highest available base price for himself. While there was a belief that it might be a tad bit high, no one doubted whether he would get picked up at the 2017 auction.
However, this year’s auction was different from the rest as teams adopted a more pragmatic approach having singled out their targets in the auction. It is this high base price that cost Ishant a spot in any team, remarked Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir later.
When Murali Vijay was ruled out, former teammate, and now head of Kings XI Punjab’s cricket operations, Virender Sehwag called Ishant, who was more than willing to link up with the side.
Ishant has played for a number of IPL sides including the Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiants over the years. He was a big acquisition in the very first auction but never failed to hold down a spot with any of the sides.
For the seamer, it was all about playing cricket. He mentioned that it didn’t matter where he was playing, as long as he got to play the game he loves. “Obviously as a cricketer, if you don't get picked in IPL, you want to go somewhere. It is time for me to play. It doesn't matter where I'm playing. I just want to play. That's it.”
The 2017 IPL auction was a bit disheartening as a number of great servants of Indian cricket, such as Ishant, and Irfan Pathan went unsold. Nobody would have expected injuries to ravage the league the way it has, but it does open the door for the likes of Ishant.
While it is a great moment for the man, you wonder whether it is a suitable acquisition by the franchise. They have taken a gamble by replacing an opening batsman with a bowler, and hopefully, for them, Ishant can repay the faith shown.