Ishant was then standing at 96 Tests. Nearly 14 months later, throughout which he missed 5 Tests because of an harm, Indian cricket‘s most lovable ‘lambu’ is shining shiny.
He is heading in the right direction to change into solely the second Indian quick bowler, after the nice Kapil Dev, to play 100 Tests for the nation.
“Arre yaar mera interview karke kya karogey? Main toh bujhta huya diya hoon [why do you want to interview me? I am like the last flicker in a lamp),” Ishant had said at the Kotla.
In terms of sheer talent and craft, Ishant wouldn’t be in the same league as Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami or Javagal Srinath; but with his longevity, he has proved that “workhorse” isn’t exactly an abused word, which is used to sum up the veteran pacer.
“I think I will say this with certainty…,” former India wicketkeeper and Ishant’s ex-Delhi teammate and coach Vijay Dahiya said.
“Ishant will be the last Indian fast bowler to play 100 Test matches. I don’t see anyone playing 100 Tests. With majority of the fast bowlers preserving themselves for the IPL and white ball games, it will be increasingly difficult to play 100 Tests for India,” Dahiya made a statement.
Ishant’s mate for the last 16 years, current Delhi captain Pradeep Sangwan felt that even when Virat Kohli and Ishant attended Delhi’s U-17 trials, he looked a class apart.
“He was so tall and that long flowing mane of his, we used to pull his leg and tease him. ‘Dekh le bhai, lamba Shah Rukh aa gaya’ [watch out brothers, the tall Shah Rukh Khan has come (referring to the actor)],” Sangwan mentioned.
“But then even during those U-17 days, he was so tall and generated so much pace, you knew that he was special. And if you see when Virat was leading us at the 2008 U-19 World Cup, Ishant was already a Test player by then and didn’t need to play that tournament.”
His first 79 Test matches yielded 226 wickets and the final 20 fetched him 76 scalps, which exhibits how the man from West Delhi’s Patel Nagar moulded himself in line with the group’s wants.
(Ishant, left, and Jasprit Bumrah – PTI Photo)
Ishant, in addition to the present crop of Indian quick bowling line-up’s most memorable three years began in 2018 in South Africa with the introduction of Jasprit Bumrah in the Test area.
“MS used him as a defensive bowler who would hold one end up. Ishant was his man to do the job. You know why he has lasted this long? Because it’s very important to know what your leader wants and deliver accordingly,” Dahiya mentioned.
“He wasn’t the wicket-taking bowler but kudos to him, he did the job of bowling 20 plus overs a day with elan, which primarily the spinners do in Tests,” he added.
It’s his arduous work and skill to keep up health requirements that permits him to bowl these 8- to 9-over spells Test after Test.
“He was bowling those 8- to 9-over spells at 18 years at a pace of 140 plus. Today he is nearing 33 and he is still bowling those long spells consistently in the late 130 kmph and cranking it up to 140 kmph at times,” mentioned Sangwan.
First-class cricket has its personal set of advantages however there are a couple of pitfalls, too, and sometimes the instance of former England batsman Graeme Hick is cited. Hick performed seven years of county cricket earlier than worldwide degree and by then, in line with consultants, the “bad habits of domestic cricket had crept into his system”.
“Best part about Ishant was that he escaped that grind of first-class cricket and was fast-tracked pretty early.
“The second a quick bowler is caught for 3 plus years in Ranji Trophy, he can stagnate, compromise for tempo and in addition lack high quality from the different finish. Ishant did not should endure that,” said Dahiya, who was also the pacer’s senior team coach.
Ishant is probably someone who doesn’t feel the need to be funny, interjected Sangwan, narrating an incident during their U-19 days.
“It was Delhi U-19 trials and as you recognize in DDCA, one strategy-wala chap [a typical Delhi term used for backdoor entry of boys with influential parents] was thrust upon the sports activities committee for trials.
“Sunil Dev, who was then the sports secretary, was so angry that he came up to us and told Ishant and myself ‘if that fellow scores 20, you two will be out of the team’.”
“Ishant was like ‘sir, humari kya galti hai ki isko trials pe bulaya’ [what is our fault that he has ben called for trials].”
Dev was unyielding however then, Ishant and Sangwan received him out 4 or 5 instances and in addition embarrassed him with a barrage of quick balls, which hit him on the ribs. Recalling that story, Sangwan chuckled.
While former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie sorted Ishant’s wrist place at Sussex, the Indian speedster stays a nightmare for ‘keepers even after enjoying so many matches. Ask Wriddhiman Saha, who finds Ishant the most tough to maintain as the seam wobbles.
Dahiya, who is thought for his self-deprecating humour, hit the parting shot.
“I still tell Ishant that it was his late movement that led to my early retirement as he was young and I was ageing. I tell him ‘tune mere budhaape mein maze le liye’ [you had a crack at my old age].”