ishant sharma
IND vs ENG | Chepauk Day 4 Talking Points: Dan Lawrence’s harakiri and Virat Kohli’s proactive day out
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On a day that was about to get tough for England, Dan Lawrence didn’t do himself any help with his ‘harakiri’ to send Ravichandran Ashwin out of the ground. After that, it was just a case of formality for the rest of the day, as the Indian spinners wrapped the English batsmen by their spell.Dan Lawrence’s harakiri could cost himAfter what was considered a brilliant first tour in Sri Lanka for the young right-hander Daniel Lawrence, his task was cut out against the top-notch Indian bowling attack. His uncanny batting ability, combined with his footwork had the entire world talking, after his first knock at Galle, where he scored a scintillating 73. He then took the attack on once again, with an unbeaten 21 in the second innings. However, from thereon, he has succumbed under pressure, multiple times, all of which could be put down to his inexperience. In the first Test, he was undone twice by the seaming delivery - from Bumrah and Ishant Sharma. However, in the second Test, there was a different tale - one where his inexperience had taken precedence over his skills. After battling it out in the heat, against the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, the right-handed jumped at delivery before poking it tamely to the short-leg fielder just before lunch bells came calling. While his dismissal might have been put down to extra bounce, his inexperience came into the picture, with his ability to not see through the tough session. Combine that with his second innings dismissal, where his dismissal was more because of him than the bowler.Lawrence, in a brain-fade moment, jumped down the pitch, aiming to take down Ashwin ended up getting himself humiliated and stumped by a brilliant piece of keeping from Rishabh Pant. Talent might only last as long as Lawrence converts and now with Bairstow and Crawley returning, who knows what might happen?Virat Kohli has been proactive, more than you would expect and more than you would think. Right from the first over of the day, where he handed the ball to Mohammed Siraj, Kohli has rotated and kept his bowlers fresh throughout the first session of the day. Be it Siraj bowling or Axar Patel accompanying him from the other end, Kohli was spot on with his tactics. The way he went about things, changing his bowlers, bringing them on from the end which would allow for them to flourish, Kohli had been immaculate on the fourth day. When Ben Stokes was looking more and more confident against the set of bowlers, he introduced Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack and set an ultra-attacking field, to see the downfall of the southpaw. As much as five fielders were within touching distance from the batsman, with constant chirping from the slip-cordon, who were assured that Ashwin would get his man yet again. He did, that was not just to Ashwin and his amazing 101 variations with the ball but also the constant decision-making from the Indian skipper. What was more effective was how he brought on Ishant Sharma just after that, knowing there were two right-handed batsmen at the crease. With Ishant’s ability to get the ball tail in back to the right-hander, his over against Pope and Root was a testament to his proactiveness, with three fielders on the leg-side, guarding the uppish drive, which was one of the percentage shot for the batsmen with the ball tailing. Later on, his change to bring Axar Patel back into the attack accounted for Ollie Pope. Incidentally, with this win, he also tied MS Dhoni's record at the top of the proceedings, with wins at home. Axar Patel has India covered but the litmus test is yet to comeWhen Axar Patel was unavailable for the first Test, with an injury, India had to change their entire game plan around - with the selection of Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar, to fill the gap left by the all-rounder. However, his return saw an aggressive India take the field, with Kuldeep coming back into the setup, with the left-arm all-rounder. He was at his best, with his ball often putting the English batsmen in a mind-block. They couldn’t quite fathom what he was doing, whether he was spinning the ball away from them or bringing it back in or just keeping it straight. If India have always marvelled at Ravindra Jadeja for his ability to puzzle the batsmen and entertain the fans, Axar Patel was living up to the expectations, that doesn’t mean he should be compared to Jadeja. His effectiveness in the second innings, well reflected by his statistics on the domestic scene - an average of 23.6. Earlier on the second day of the Test as well, Axar drew a 26% false shot from the English batsmen. In all, the way he is operating, India wouldn’t fret over their decision to have him in the Test setup, with his bowling performance, where he picked up a fifer. But invariably, his biggest Test - the litmus one - is around the corner, in conditions where there isn’t as much turn for the spinners. Come to the Ahmedabad Test, it would be one of Axar’s toughest tests but would he come out of it rather successfully? And the fact that he hasn’t yet stepped up with the bat, would come haunting for him on pitches that don’t favour spin-bowlers.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Don’t really think about records and achievements, states Ishant Sharma
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Ishant Sharma, who entered the 300-wicket club, stated that he doesn’t really have his sights on records and achievements of overtaking Zaheer Khan, with the focus just on improving his game. Recalling his spell to Ricky Ponting, Ishant stated that his only aim was to pin him under pressure.Since debut, Ishant Sharma has become the sole and binder of the Indian bowling unit, after he took over the reins from Zaheer Khan. Ever since then, the pacer has been consistently threatening the batsmen with his bowling performances, combined with his height and length. However, there was a period that followed where he struggled to pick wickets, with his inconsistency over his line and length. Post the Jason Gillespie episode, the pacer has turned his career around, fast becoming one of the best pacers in the world. In the ongoing Test against England, the pacer picked up his 300th Test wicket, with the wicket of Daniel Lawrence, who was caught right in front. However, despite getting to the landmark, Ishant Sharma stated that he doesn’t really think about records or achievements. “I don’t really think about overtaking Zaheer Khan or anyone on the list of any record. I don’t think about all these records, just focusing on improving myself and my bowling efforts. Just want to enjoy my cricket and keep playing for India and helping the Indian team,” Ishant Sharma told Ravichandran Ashwin in a video posted by BCCI. Talking about the spell that he bowled to dismiss Ricky Ponting, the lanky pacer stressed the importance of bowling a lot of deliveries, outside the off-stump channel, consistently putting the batsman under the pump. He revealed that a piece of advice from Sachin Tendulkar was to be as patient as if the pacer was bowling in the country. “I have bowled plenty of spells (like the one I bowled against Ponting) in first-class cricket. What happens in first-class cricket is constantly you have to keep working hard to get a wicket. You have to keep bowling maidens to tie the batsman down and that’s what Sachin Tendulkar told me in Australia. He just wanted me to be as patient as I’m playing in India,” he added.Ishant also recalled his first-ever wicket in the longest format, with the pacer picking up Bangladesh all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza as his first scalp in the Indian whites. “The first wicket was Mashrafe Mortaza in Bangladesh, it was my debut and there wasn’t much crowd there as well. Anil Bhai (Kumble) held the catch in the gully, that was my first wicket.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | It was a crucial toss to lose; never seen an SG ball wear up this much, opines Ravichandran Ashwin
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Looking back at the Test’s proceedings, Ravichandran Ashwin opined that it was a crucial toss for the Indian team to lose while giving his impression over the state of the SG ball on day four. He also added that at one point during his partnership with Washington, they hoped to wipe the follow-on.It was indeed a memorable Test for Ravichandran Ashwin, who has played most of his cricket in this part of the country. In the first innings, he had bowled 55 overs, the most that he has bowled in an innings, picking up just three wickets. Meanwhile, in the second, he picked up six wickets in under 18 overs, showing the state of the pitch. After the end of fourth day’s play, Ashwin opined that it was a crucial toss to lose for the Indians while calling the state of the ‘SG’ ball as bizarre, with the red cherry tearing up quicker than the usual. While stating that it was a good batting track on the first two days, he insisted that a good fifth day could propel India to a famous victory.  “Look, personally when I saw the wicket, I knew it would be a good wicket to bat. It was sort of a crucial toss for us as it was a good batting wicket. On day one and two, there wasn’t much on offer, it was a good batting track. If we have a good fifth day, we can round it off and win the Test,” said Ashwin in the virtual press conference. "It could well be a combination of how hard the pitch was on the first two days. Even in the second innings, after the 35th-40th over, the seam started to sort of peel of. It was bizarre. I haven't seen an SG ball like that in the last so many years. But yeah, maybe it could be due to the pitch and hardness of it... But we will have an answer for it going through the series," he added.The Indian offie also insisted that he had his plans well set for English skipper Joe Root, who came out with a sweeping plan against the Indian spinners. He also pointed out that in the second innings, his ploy to sweep didn’t work out due to the slower nature of the wicket. “First, let me tell you, he (Root) was not sweeping a lot against me. We had plans in place for him off my bowling, where he didn’t get a lot of runs. In the second innings, he couldn’t get the same kind of runs, the pitch got slower and slower, which made him tough for him to score off the sweep.”On Ishant’s 300th Test wicket and 100th wicket in home Tests, Ashwin called the lanky pacer as one of the most hardworking people in the dressing room. “Look Ishant is one of the most hardworking people in the dressing room. Being that tall itself requires a lot of facets to be looking at. From dismissing Ricky Ponting to this, for a pacer to get 100 Test wickets in India is a big achievement. I can keep going on and compliment Ishant but he should go and pick more wickets, becoming a roadmap for the other pacers.”Recalling his partnership with fellow Tamil Nadu all-rounder Washington Sundar, Ashwin stated that they actually hoped to wipe down the follow-on and even get closer to their target. The off-spinner also called his dismissal as unfortunate, with the amount of bounce, more than he had faced before. He also called Washington, a quite special batsman and insisted that playing spin is one of the facets that they have developed playing cricket in Tamil Nadu. “We actually did believe that we could wipe down the follow-on and even get closer to their target, we just needed to pick our battles properly. For me, the ball bounced a bit too much. Playing spin is one facet of the game that players growing here will be good with, Washi is quite a special batsmen. He played really well and has been playing like for some time.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Fearless Indian line-up can chase down the total on Day 5, asserts Ishant Sharma
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India’s Ishant Sharma claimed that the hosts won’t be thinking about a draw on the final day and asserted that the fearless batting line-up could chase down 420 if they get off to a good start. Ishant further revealed that the pitch started to assist spin, after behaving like a ‘road’ for 2 days.For the third time in as many Tests, India will head into the final day with a gigantic task at hand, but it could be said that awaiting them on Tuesday will be their most arduous task yet. On a crumbling Chennai wicket, the hosts have been set a mammoth 420 to chase down, and in 90 overs on the final day, they will have to score 381 runs to clinch victory.India had to score fewer runs on Day 5 in both Sydney and Brisbane and hence many believe a victory tomorrow is pretty much out of the equation. But not buying into that argument is Ishant Sharma. Ishant laid his faith in the batsmen and asserted that there is no reason why India cannot chase the target down if indeed they get off to a good start. “If we get a good start tomorrow, we can chase this down, because we have a batting line-up that is fearless and can chase this down, and it's important to look at 381 runs and not 9 wickets,” Ishant told Star Sports.The reason why the task is set to be arduous is because of the crumbling surface at Chepauk. Batting has become tougher with every passing day and the same was evident on Day 4, with a total of 15 wickets falling in the day. Ishant revealed that the wicket has started to offer turn for the spinners and insisted that it was no longer a road like it was on the first two days."On the first two days, the pitch was not assisting us and the spinners, it felt like we played on a road, but it started turning later on in Day 4 and it was a lot more responsive then," Ishant revealed.Day 4 was a special day in Ishant’s career as the 32-year-old got to the landmark of 300 Test wickets, becoming only the third Indian pacer - after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan - to achieve the feat. The right-armer, whose career has been on an upward curve in the last two years, described his journey as a ‘rollercoaster’."It's been quite a roller-coaster life. I've had a lot of experience, a lot of mentors who taught me how to bowl in the subcontinent and how to bowl abroad.”India ended Day 4 on 39/1, with Gill (15*) and Pujara (12*) still unbeaten.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Ishant Sharma tends to bowl no-balls when he is frustrated, reveals childhood coach
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Ishant Sharma’s childhood coach Sharwan Kumar insisted that his ward was rusty owing to lack of match practice and revealed that the speedster tends to bowl no-balls when he is frustrated and not getting wickets. In what was an innings of rusty professionalism, Ishant sent down five no-balls.Ishant Sharma made his return to international cricket after a one-year hiatus in the first Test in Chennai, and while he bowled exceptionally well, his display was marred with unprofessionalism. Not once, not twice, Ishant overstepped a staggering five times, not just gifting the visitors' bonus runs but leaving a bitter taste on the fans who tuned in to watch the first international game in India in over a year.  Ishant’s childhood coach Sharwan Kumar reckons this ‘no-ball fest’ was owing to frustration. Though he eventually finished with 2 wickets to his name, both of which came late, Ishant toiled hard for close to 169 overs on the field without picking a wicket, something Kumar feels could have led to frustration, resulting in no-balls. "He (Ishant) has been out of practice for a long time, due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Also, he lacked match practice. Generally, fast bowlers end up bowling no balls when they don't get wickets and put in too much effort in frustration. Many times, captains also put pressure on fast bowlers to get wickets, and that is another reason for bowling no balls," Kumar was quoted as saying by TOI."I also don't think Indians bowled so many no balls because of overconfidence. In Test cricket it is not a matter of too much concern. In one-dayers and T20s, however, bowling no balls is a big issue, a crime.”It was not just Ishant who overstepped, though. The siren going off was an overarching theme in England’s innings, with the Indian bowlers overstepping a ridiculous 17 times. Dronacharya awardee coach Gurcharan Singh, who played 37 first-class games between 1953 and 1968, reckoned this bad habit of bowling no-balls generally emerges from the nets and recalled an incident where he got former Indian international Maninder Singh to rectify a no-ball issue by inculcating discipline during net practice."When people ask me how to rectify the issue of bowling no balls, I tell them to go to Kapil Dev. He hardly bowled no balls in his successful career," Singh told IANS."One of my wards, a pacer, used to bowl lots of no balls in nets. When I would point it out to him, he would say he doesn't do that in matches. But when I accompanied the Delhi under-19 team to Lucknow for a Cooch Behar Trophy match in early 1980s, his first 18 balls were no balls. I was forced to send a message to him to stand at the crease and complete the over.""I corrected Maninder Singh [former India left-arm spinner] in the nets, and he later rectified the same problem that a Pakistani bowler was confronting some time ago.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | India should have picked X-factor Kuldeep Yadav, feels Gautam Gambhir
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Gautam Gambhir has expressed surprise and disappointment over India omitting Kuldeep Yadav from the first Test in Chennai and claimed that the hosts should have picked the wrist-spinner due to the variety he brings. Gambhir also expressed apprehension over the selection of Ishant Sharma.After missing each of the four Tests in Australia despite India suffering a plethora of injuries, Kuldeep Yadav was touted to start in the first Test in Chennai, and the same was hinted by skipper Virat Kohli a day ahead of the game. However, a late injury to Axar Patel threw spanner in the works of the hosts, who eventually drafted Shahbaz Nadeem into the XI, alongside Washington Sundar, opting to bench Kuldeep. The decision to omit Kuldeep was not received well by the fans, most of whom believed it was flabbergasting on the management’s part to bench the youngster despite playing three spinners.Gautam Gambhir, speaking on ESPN Cricinfo, echoed the overarching sentiment and expressed disappointment over the omission of the wrist-spinner, who he feels could have been an X-factor on a flat wicket.“A little unfortunate for Kuldeep, to be honest. I thought India should have picked Kuldeep against England. A left-arm wrist-spinner is a very rare commodity. He’s been with the side and he hasn’t played any cricket. So Kuldeep would have been a great asset,” Gambhir said on ESPN Cricinfo’s pre-match show.“You wanna use him first up in the series as well. You don’t want to be waiting to pick Kuldeep in the second or the third Test match because we have seen a lot of times how wrist-spinners can turn the game around. I’m a bit surprised as well that they are playing with two off-spinners. Probably because they wanted a bit of depth in the batting at No.7 and No.8.”Kuldeep’s omission was the biggest talking point, but the morning of Day 1 also saw the return of Ishant Sharma, who missed the entirety of the Australia tour due to injury. Ishant prepped for the series by proving his fitness in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he represented Delhi. Gambhir revealed that he was surprised by India snubbing the in-form Mohammed Siraj and questioned whether Ishant had the fitness levels to feature across five days in a two-man seam attack. "Another big surprise was Ishant Sharma. He hasn’t played a lot of red-ball cricket lately and Siraj has been in fabulous form. Playing T20 cricket after injury and then playing a Test match is a completely different ball-game. Especially when you have to bowl 17-18 overs a day and when you only have two seamers.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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