Ishant Sharma Rubbishes 'Defensive Bowler' Tag After Sterling Show On Day 3
Ishant Sharma starred for India on Day 3 of the opening Test, registering his eighth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
Ishant rejects label of being a 'defensive bowler'
Ishant Sharma registered figures of 5/51 in the 2nd innings
India need another 84 runs to win on Day 4 of the 1st Test
Ishant Sharma was the star of the show for India on Day 3 as his five-wicket haul helped India bundle out England for 180 in their second innings on Day 3 of the opening Test at Edgbaston on Friday. The lanky pacer was on fire as he decimated the England batting order, setting up a 194-run chase for India. Following his sterling performance on the third day, Ishant was questioned about being labelled a "defensive bowler" in the past but the Indian pacer completely rejected the notion. "I don't know where the label (of being a defensive bowler) came from. I try to bowl depending on the situation," he said.
"I just go with my gut feel and situation of the game. At times you have to bowl defensively and at times you have to bowl attackingly. It depends on the situation, how you will deal with it, and I try to adapt to situation and bowl accordingly," Ishant told reporters at the post day's press conference on Friday night.
Ishant ran through England's middle and lower order to record figures of 5/51. The Delhi bowler registered his eighth five-wicket haul in the longest format of the game in the process.
Ishant played four matches for Sussex in the County Championship Division Two earlier this year, scalping an impressive 15 wickets and even scoring a half-century.
He credited his stint with Sussex for giving him the confidence and experience to do well in English conditions.
"Playing county cricket has helped me a lot. I was disappointed a bit (on missing out IPL) but I figured whatever happens it's for your good. It was a good experience and I enjoyed it a lot. I played for Sussex and bowling with Duke's ball was good," said the fast bowler.
"The good thing was I had overs behind me. I played four matches for Sussex, and a few one-day matches too, but I bowled nearly 250 overs in that.
"It feels nice to represent your country, come abroad and take five wickets in an innings, especially the second one. I bowl hard but my wickets' column doesn't (always) become bigger. It feels nice to work hard as a bowler," he added.
Ishant bowled a sensational spell in the post lunch session and destroyed the English middle-order. He changed angles to come round the wicket and most of the English left-handed batsmen found it difficult to handle his swing. Asked about the ploy, Ishant said it was a pre-meditated plan.
"In the first innings, we wanted to take the ball away from the left-handers. I started over the stumps but when the ball started to do things I came around. "Bowling coach told me to come around the stumps straightway. It becomes a difficult angle for the batsmen. When I start to swing the ball, it becomes very difficult for the left-handers," he said.
Even though the visitors find themselves in a precarious spot, Ishant was confident of India wining the Test with captain Kohli still there at the crease.
"He (Kohli) is someone who always gives you positive energy and that is a big thing as captain. He always wants to do something special for Team India and everybody knows how professional he is," he said.
"The good thing is that I have scored a 50 in county cricket, so I am carrying that confidence in my batting as well. Hopefully, they don't need me, and Virat and DK will do the job."
(With PTI Inputs)