Ishant is a treasure we need to protect: Sekar

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ishant Sharma is a treasure which India need to protect well to keep firing at the opposition batting line-ups, former India paceman T A Sekar said.

Updated: December 01, 2008 12:48 IST
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New Delhi:

Ishant Sharma, the teen pace sensation of Indian cricket team, is a treasure which India need to protect well to keep firing at the opposition batting line-ups, former India paceman T A Sekar on Monday said.

Sekar, the former MRF Pace Foundation head coach, said Sharma was a unique talent which needed to be handled cautiously.

"Ishant is a treasure. We need to wrap him in cotton wool and protect him so that he can last long. He makes a good combination with Zaheer.

"It's important that we monitor his progress well. We should never play him if he feels even a little uncomfortable," Sekar said on the sidelines of a function here.

Sekar, who was here to announce Gatorade Pacers -- a talent hunt programme -- said the 20-year-old Sharma need to improve his physique which will make him even better.

"He has to build up his body. That is going to help him survive for long. He knows his body best and should be given immediate rest even if he encounters a niggle," he said.

However, Sekar did not read much into Sharma getting injured so early in his career as he missed the first two one-dayers of the India-England series.

"Any bowler, who is bowling at a speed of 135 kms or more, will face some injuries. Ishant just had a niggle at that time and it was sensible to rest him."

Meanwhile, former India strike bowler Javagal Sreenath said the exposure of Twenty20 cricket has helped Zaheer Khan and Ishant become better bowlers in longer formats of the game.

"To some extent, the T20 cricket has helped bowlers. It is lot of pressure bowling in this format. It has helped Zaheer and Ishant, which was evident in the India's performance against England in the one-day series," Sreenath said.

Recently England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff had also said that reason for India's domination in the one-day series against them was their exposure to IPL, which helped Indian bowlers develop certain deliveries.

However, Sekar was not willing to buy Flintoff's theory and said the motive of saying that was different.

"I do not agree with him (Flintoff). He wants to play in IPL and that's why he suggested that in a way to his Board. They have played more Twenty20 cricket than India," Sekar said.

Sreenath also praised Ishant's talent and said his best was yet to come.

"You will see a mature and better Ishant once he gets to know his body well. It is very important for a fast bowler to listen to his body. Once he learns that he will be a better performer," he opined.

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