MS Dhoni deserves a big share of credit for Ishant Sharma's transformation from a fresh talent to a leader of the bowling attack, the 30-year-old admitted on Saturday. While thanking India's World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni for keeping his faith intact in the bowler's tough times, Ishant Sharma revealed the former India skipper saved his spot when there were calls to drop the pacer from the playing eleven. "Mahi bhai saved me from getting dropped a few times. He backed me a lot," Ishant Sharma said.
"Yes, now being the senior member of the team Virat comes up to me and says 'I know you are tired and fatigued, but as a senior member you have to do it for the team'.
"Earlier, I was just looking to bowl well but now I am looking to perform and want to take wickets. Only wickets can change perception," he added.
Despite being one of the best bowlers during the 2013 Champions Trophy, Ishant has been tagged as a Test bowler and the pacer feels perception has a big role to play these days.
"Yes, perception is a big part that players have been dealing with. I don't know from where this comes from. I don't think about too many things.
"I just take it as an opportunity and if I do well, I will be in a position to stake a claim in the World Cup squad," he said.
Asked if he did speak to anyone about not finding a place in the limited-overs team, Ishant said: "To be honest I haven't spoken to anyone about where I am lacking.
"I am someone who is very harsh on myself and don't go to others for a reason. I feel if I am not selected the blame lies with me."
While most of the Indian players were busy playing Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018, Ishant was using that time to fine-tune his skills in county cricket and the pacer thinks it has helped him improve a lot.
"I think county has helped me a lot as it was very tiring. Bowling 300 overs in just 16 days, I played four games. But it brought a lot of control to my game.
"Jason Gillespie gave me a lot of confidence. He was always supportive and gave me freedom. I was there for just two months so no technical change," he said.
(With IANS inupts)