Rain probably saved India from a 3-0 whitewash against South Africa in the ODI series in Wednesday, but paceman Ishant Sharma, who returned to form with a fighting 4-40 felt the visitors have learnt things that should keep them in good stead in the upcoming two Tests.
“We lost the series yes, but we have some positives to take from it as well. And we will be utilising them in the Test series,” he said. In the course of his four-for, Ishant collected his 100th wicket from 70 matches, when he dismissed Ryan McLaren.
Speaking about opener Quinton de Kock, who hit his third ton of the series, Ishant said, “It’s good for him that he got runs. But I think he was very lucky, especially today. In all three matches, he has given top edges which have gone through gaps, half chances all of them. And today he was dropped twice.”
South Africa scored 301-8 off their 50 overs but rain washed away the Indian innings. Ishant explained: “Initially there was bounce in the wicket and then it got a bit slow.
We need to use the variations on these kind of wickets because the pitch was a bit dry. The wind blows from different directions and the captain tends to rotate his bowlers. Each of us is a different bowler and we are given a chance to perform, which is a good thing.”
India’s young bowlers
India’s bowling has been under the weather in the past few months, but Ishant felt the bowlers are still learning. “Everyone looks at how many matches we have played, but if you can see the average age, we are young in that respect as a bowling unit.
Everyone is learning. We make mistakes, and we learn, trying to keep things simple. It becomes easier then.”
Of late, Ishant has come in for heavy criticism owing to his erratic performances, but the paceman reasoned: “It is a part of life. Everyone has ups and downs. I went for runs, and I take responsibility for it.
But people should realise that it is a sport after all and mistakes do happen. Thereafter when I didn’t play the West Indies Tests, I analysed to see where I can improve my bowling.
Grateful to selectors
“What’s more important is that the selectors gave me a chance to perform and come back into the team. The support staff and the captain also believed that I could come back and perform for the team, so that matters a lot to me.”