Experienced Ishant still learning his game

Even after five years of international cricket his figures don't do justice to his skill set.

Birmingham, June 22 -- Ishant Sharma's talent has never been in doubt. As a 19-year-old he had the best batsman in the world at that time, Ricky Ponting, dancing to his tune. But, even after five years of international cricket his figures don't do justice to his skill set.

He's got a lovely high-arm action, he gets the ball to swing both ways, he's got nip and can generate disconcerting bounce.

It's the last bit that's important here. With his slender, 6'5 frame he can extract unnerving bounce even off a good length, but, for far too long a hint of bounce on a playing surface sees him dip his length by a yard.

Australian fast bowling legend Jeff Thomson told HT during India's last tour Down Under what he felt was the Delhi pacer's main problem.

"I thought Ishant bowled well, although I don't like the length he's bowling, it's about a few yards too short," the Australian pace bowling legend said at the time.

Need for guidance

He added something that still holds true today, but is hardly that relevant anymore. "I think India need an experienced bowling coach to guide the young fast bowlers. You've got a bloke (Eric Simons) who hasn't played a single Test," he said.

Soon after this statement, Joe Dawes was hired as India's bowling coach. A former policeman, he too has never played a Test.

Although after a belated first-class debut, at 27, he built up a reputation as a tough-nosed pacer. In the current setup, Dawes' role assumes even greater significance.

During practice sessions he spends times observing India's three-pronged pace attack and minces no words in his assessment.

He also jokes around with his bunch, shares a laugh or two. You know the routine. Good cop, bad cop. After a so-so run in the tournament, Ishant would have heard some choice words from the Aussie. Whatever, it was, he took it well.

After Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav set the early tone, Ishant took it up notch. By the time he was brought on for the 12th over of the innings, the new ball bowlers had softened up the Sri Lanka batting.

Ishant provided the knockout blow. By the time his spell ended the game was all but over.

The most experienced of India's pace battery, Ishant, however feels he's still learning his game. After his man of the match performance he refrained from being called the leader of the pack.


Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Moores set for England recall

Moores set for England recall

The 51-year-old will succeed Andy Flower, who stepped down after five years in charge following the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia in January. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »