Why has Ishant hit a speed breaker?


For someone who leads the Indian pace attack, Ishant Sharma has had a dismal series against Australia so far, scalping just one wicket in two matches, at an average of 111.00.

Granted that the wicket hasn’t really suited pace bowling, but then Australia’s leading wicket-taker has been James Pattinson, picking up eight wickets in the first two Tests at 23.62.

Ishant’s coach Sravan Kumar feels that the problem lies with some technical aspects which have gone awry.

Speaking to Mail Today, Sravan said that there were three areas which Ishant needed to work on to ensure that he got back the rhythm that he had found in the last Test match against England and the subsequent ODI series.

“Ishant hasn’t been at the top of his game and that is there for everyone to see. But the problem isn’t something humongous. There are minor chinks in his bowling which if corrected, he will once again start producing the results.

“Firstly, he is bowling from wide of the crease and needs to come in closer. By bowling from wide of the crease, he isn’t helping his cause as the ball is drifting down the leg- side. Secondly, he needs to open up a little in his delivery stride".

While it is always advised that a bowler shouldn’t be too open- chested in his delivery stride, Ishant is getting too closed and he needs to avoid that.

“Thirdly, his wrist position isn’t correct. The faulty wrist position is stopping him from getting the ball to swing as the seam isn’t coming down still. That has also affected his ability to get the ball to reverse,” he added.

“When you are playing nonstop for a while, these discrepancies are bound to come into your game and that is where the bowling coach needs to talk to the player.” Even former India mediumpacer Madan Lal feels that Ishant hasn’t been at his best and feels that could also come from the fact that wickets like the ones being produced in India at present breaks the heart of a fast bowler.

“These wickets are doctored to suit spin bowling. When you see that as a pacer, you are bound to get disheartened. Also, when the team is doing well and the spinners are getting all the credit, sometimes your poor performance tends to get overlooked and you don’t have the coach or captain telling you where you are going wrong. I think same is the case with Ishant,” he told Mail Today. But Lal feels that Ishant needs to bowl faster so that he can get the reverse swing to come into the picture.

“The wickets might not be suited to pace bowling, but then Ishant needs to bowl faster because you can’t get the ball to reverse at the pace at which he has been bowling,” he said. “He has the potential in him to come back stronger and better. I believe, he should do it fast to do justice to his reputation as India’s leading pacer.”

Hopefully the slight pace in the Mohali wicket will help Ishant regain not only his pace, but also his form.

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