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Monday, September 21, 2020

Felt I had betrayed my country: Ishant Sharma recalls 2013 ODI horror show

Ishant Sharma recalled his terrible performance in the third ODI played between India and Australia in October 2013.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 5, 2020 3:37:41 pm
In Frame: Australian batsmen James Faulkner and Adam Voges, and Indian seamer Ishant Sharma. (Source: BCCI/File Photo)

India seamer Ishant Sharma revealed that his poor performance against Australia in a 2013 ODI match was the turning point of his cricketing career. Describing the moment in Espncricinfo’s show cricketbaazi, the 31-year-old lanky bowler said that it felt like he had betrayed the country.

“The turning point of my life came in 2013. Faulkner hit me for 30 runs in one over in an ODI in Mohali that Australia went on to win,” Ishant said.

“At that time I felt I had betrayed myself and my country,” added Ishant going on to reveal that he cried for two weeks after that Mohali ODI.

“For two-three weeks, I didn’t speak to anyone. I cried a lot. I am a very tough guy. My mother says she hasn’t seen a tougher person than me. [But] I called my girlfriend and cried on the phone like a child. Those three weeks were like a nightmare. I stopped eating. I couldn’t sleep or do anything else. You switch on the television and people are criticising you, which messes you up even more,” he further said.

The seamer was referring to the third ODI played between India and Australia in October 2013. Dhoni brought Ishant back into the attack as the visitors required 44 from 18 deliveries.

However, James Faulkner, Australian all-rounder, changed the course of the match after smashing Ishant for four sixes in that over. The bowler conceded 30 runs in that over, thus changing the equation from 44 from 18 balls to 14 required from 12 deliveries.

Faulkner’s blistering knock of 64 in 29 balls helped Australia win the contest as the visitors went 2-1 up in the series.

Following the performance, Ishant was dropped from the team after that ODI.

“I laugh about it now and I consider it a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you need a jolt to understand your passion. After the Faulkner incident, I went through major changes in my life. After 2013, I started taking things seriously. Before that, if I had a bad performance, people would come and tell me ‘It’s okay, it happens.’ But after 2013, if someone came to me and said that, I wouldn’t listen. If I have made a mistake, I have made a mistake. I started taking responsibility for my actions. When you do that, you play every match to win it for the team,” he said.

Ishant is currently India’s first-choice seamer in the longest format of the game and is just three wickets short from completing 300 scalps in Tests.

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