Lanky fast bowler Ishant Sharma is looking to recreate the magic of 2007-08 through his willingness to shoulder added responsibility on this tour
Ishant Sharma has perhaps given Australia's batsmen fidgety nights in recent weeks. Ever since he tormented their former skipper Ricky Ponting at Perth in 2007-08, and won the Man of the Series award in the return series back home in 2008-09, the Delhi pacer been rated highly here.
Ishant Sharma during nets in Melbourne on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
During the hosts' just-concluded Boot Camp, batting coach Justin Langer organised for balls to be delivered from a taller height via the bowling machine -- in order to prepare his batsmen for Ishant's rising deliveries during the upcoming four-Test series. Last week, rookie Australia opener Ed Cowan told MiD DAY that "Ishant was a boy when he came to Australia in 2007-08 and has returned a man in 2011-12, who looks like he means business."
Ishant too is hoping to scalp a bagful of wickets this Australian summer with the intimidation factor. "It really pleases me if they are actually scared of my height. I was not aware of this. I hope to put more fear in them. After all, that's the best way for a fast bowler to get wickets," he told MiD DAY on Saturday.
That perhaps explains the reason for the Australian media to constantly enquire about Ishant's injury scare and some of their past greats writing off an Indian attack sans the lanky fast bowler. "Yes, I am little surprised that people are constantly writing and saying that 'Ishant is not fit'. I have been bowling at the nets or out in the middle almost daily for the last four to five days. I am one hundred per cent fit and craving to have a go at the Australian batsmen. I have a lot of responsibility as one of the senior bowlers in this side. Only Zaheer bhai (Khan) and I have played here before.
"I am ready for the added responsibility. I know that my captain and coach are expecting me to get a lot of wickets," he added. Sharma, 23, is looking to recapture the magic of the 2007-08 tour where he rose to prominence by taming Ponting. But, he maintained that Ponting was a batsman who deserved respect.
"I am obviously eager to bowl at him again, but I also respect him a lot. I think he's a great batsman and it will be a huge mistake if we don't take him seriously. I don't want to remember what happened at Perth too much. This is a new start and I have to prove myself once again," he signed off.