Before this Test series, Ishant Sharma had last taken a five-wicket haul in 2011, against the West Indies in Roseau. Ever since, his bowling and wicket-taking ability, or the lack of, has been under the microscope in all formats of the game. Speaking to the media after his second consecutive six-wicket haul in New Zealand, Ishant explained why he believes he is still very much as good as the man who gave the Australians a hard time in 2008. Excerpts.
On his lows
I am the same bowler who bowled against Ricky Ponting in 2007-08 and the same bowler who was man-of-the-series in 2011. I am the same bowler. I don’t analyse my bowling a lot, because at this stage, ahead of the game it is only about mental thinking.
On recent failures
You only learn from experience. I have seen enough ups and downs in my life. Whenever there is an important tour, I get dropped. Whenever there is an easy tour, I am in the team. It’s a really hard.
On his six-wicket hauls
I have been bowling well since South Africa. It is just that people are recognising more now, because I am taking more wickets. I didn’t do anything different. Just looked to bowl in the right areas, in fact we all did, we all bowled very well. Only (Mohammed) Shami and I got the rewards.
On india bowling first
It was obviously good to win the toss. The wicket had a spongy bounce and it was a juicy wicket in the morning. We were disciplined in our bowling today. In the first innings at Auckland, we got a bit carried away looking at the fresh pitch. But we learnt from the second innings there that if we bowl with discipline, we will get more rewards. And that’s what we did, looking to bowl in the right areas, rather than take wickets.
On his role in the side
I will do whatever the team needs me to do. This is a team sport. If they see me fit as a one-change bowler or any other role, wherever they can see that I fit in their plans, I will do that.
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