I can help Ishant Sharma become a champion bowler again: Manoj Prabhakar

Former India fast bowler Manoj Prabhakar said yesterday that he can get under-fire pacer Ishant Sharma to perform at his peak again if he gets an opportunity to work with the lanky cricketer for a month.

Ishant Sharma and (inset) Manoj Prabhakar
Ishant Sharma during India’s ODI against Australia in Mohali on Saturday and (inset) Manoj Prabhakar

Ishant has copped some serious flak after Australia’s James Faulkner hammered him for 30 runs in the 48th over of the last one-dayer at Mohali. The famous over witnessed four sixes and one four which helped Australia clinch the third ODI away from India’s grasp.

Prabhakar said Ishant was facing similar problems in 2007, but he worked on his weaknesses and emerged as a top bowler during India’s tour of Australia in 2007-08 when he troubled accomplished Aussie batters including Ricky Ponting.

“Ishant has to bowl for long hours in the nets. I really do not know how a yorker can be bowled with a crossed seam. It cannot land on the target. But most importantly, his basic problem is that his shoulder drops down. As a result, he looses his momentum and position,” Prabhakar said.

“Many experts are talking about his wrist position. Ishant has worked with Pakistani greats like Wasim Akram (at Kolkata Knight Riders) and Waqar Younis (at Hyderabad Sunrisers) and I cannot understand how they couldn’t solve this problem,” he added.

Prabhakar alleged that a former India bowling coach had dissuaded Ishant from seeking his advice. Prabhakar figured in 130 one-day internationals to claim 157 wickets. He also captured 96 wickets in 39 Tests.

Interestingly, he did not play for India again after conceding 47 runs in four overs without claiming a wicket in the 1996 World Cup Group ‘A’ game against eventual champions Sri Lanka in Delhi.

The former Delhi Ranji coach said he was willing to coach Ishant for a month without a fee. “Ishant has to work hard on his bowling. His running is not a problem.

There are some technical issues, but if he comes to me, I will help him become a champion bowler again in a month. If not, I will never talk about cricket again,” said Prabhakar. 

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