Get the app

IPL 2019: Ishant Keen to Use IPL as Springboard to Revive White-ball Career

It has been three years since Ishant Sharma played the last of his 80 ODIs. In this time, several Indian fast bowlers have leapfrogged him as white ball specialists. Ishant’s stock fell to such an extent that last year he was even ignored at the IPL auction.

Arjit Dabas |March 18, 2019, 8:06 PM IST
IPL 2019: Ishant Keen to Use IPL as Springboard to Revive White-ball Career

It has been three years since Ishant Sharma played the last of his 80 ODIs. In this time, several Indian fast bowlers have leapfrogged him as white ball specialists. Ishant’s stock fell to such an extent that last year he was even ignored at the IPL auction.

However, the 30-year old, who has risen in stature in this period in Test cricket, isn’t willing to give up on his white ball ambitions. Back in the IPL mix and this time with his home city’s franchise, Delhi Capitals, Ishant is hoping to put in a string of impressive performances to get him back in reckoning for the ODI setup and perhaps even push for a World Cup call-up. Ishant had missed the 2015 World Cup with a knee injury.

"Honestly, it's just an opportunity do well. I can't be thinking too much (about white-ball career). But I know if I can do well here then I can certainly be in reckoning for the Indian team," says Ishant. "It's important to stay fit, I never lose hope and everyone wants to be part of the World Cup team. If I can bowl well and pick wickets for my side, then I am sure I can be selected.”

There has been a lot of talk lately regarding the workload, especially for the quicker bowlers, but Ishant feels more cricket can only help players get better.

"I am currently not playing ODI or T20I cricket, but I'm still playing domestic cricket,” he says. “The scheduling in domestic is more tight than international cricket so you can't crib about playing three formats. Yes, the pressure is more in international cricket but the more you play, the more you're likely to improve as a bowler."

While his white ball stock has fallen, in Test cricket, Ishant has emerged as the leader of the Indian attack. Over the last couple of years, since January 2017, the lanky bowler has picked up 55 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 25.85. He is hoping to translate that form into the IPL, where he doesn't have such a good record.

"If you can bowl well with the red ball, then you can bowl with the white ball,” he insists. “You have to train according to the format. In Tests, you need to be ready to bowl four sessions but here you have to bowl flat out in four overs. You accordingly work on variations; the lengths still stay the same. Test cricket is a format more suited to the bowlers, T20 is a batsman's format. One small mistake and you're punished, even good deliveries can go for boundaries so you can't say any particular delivery is a wicket-taking ball."

The pace bowling quartet he was part of along with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav played a key role in India's overseas success, including a series win over Australia. It has been hailed as India's best bowling attack but Ishant feels that would be disrespectful to the past greats he has shared dressing room with.

"It feels good reading such stuff in the papers but I won't say this is the best attack I have played with because that would not be right for the previous stars,” he says. “I learnt alot playing with Zak bhai (Zaheer Khan), Ashish Nehra. I can't say they were not greats.

"We (the current attack) share a great camaraderie and have healthy competition among us. I think that is important, we share good banter as well. For example sometimes Bumrah comes to me and says I am bowling a lot quicker than you.”

Related stories

Also Watch

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
see more