While Ishant had shown glimpses of good form throughout the tournament this season, his best came in the last league match. Mixing his pace and length, Ishant had Rajasthan in a tangle after dismissing Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone and Mahipal Lomror to reduce the Royals to 30/4 within the powerplay overs. Ishant ended his spell with 3/38 in four overs.
Opening the attack on a slow wicket, Ishant was right on the money from the word go, but importantly had a hang of how to bowl on this wicket. He bowled a slower delivery at length to fox Ajinkya Rahane and the Rajasthan stand-in skipper top-edged to deep square leg.
Rahane's opening partner, Livingstone, was then befuddled by a slower off-cutter than bisected him and went on to crash onto the stumps. To the left-handed Lomror, Ishant angled one across the off-stump and eked out an edge. A limited-overs India discard, Ishant has put up a solid show this season after missing out in the auctions last year.
This year, Ishant has taken 10 wickets in 11 matches with an economy of 7.65. In seven out of the 11 matches he played this year in the IPL, Ishant went at an economy rate lesser than his IPL career economy of 8.11.
He has been sharp in the powerplay overs this season and also troubled the opposition early for the second time this year. His average of 29.10 is his best in the IPL after 2011. It is his third best average in the history of the competition.
Ishant was a surprising pick by Delhi Capitals in the IPL after his disastrous season in 2017 when he picked up zero wickets despite playing in six matches. His form has been woeful in the competition since 2015, averaging 159 and 49.33 in 2015 and 2016 respectively before a wicket-less 2017 led to him being ignored in the 2018 auctions.
With Rabada gone, Delhi were in need of an experienced head and Ishant has sent a timely reminder of his abilities ahead of the playoffs.
First Published: May 4, 2019, 7:14 PM IST