Glenn McGrath: I thought Ishant Sharma's career was over

Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 07:57 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

Ex-Australia speedster Glenn McGrath impressed with India pacer Ishant Sharma's revival.

India pacer Ishant Sharma in full steam on Day Two of the first Test against New Zealand at Wellington last week. Pic /AFP
India pacer Ishant Sharma in full steam on Day Two of the first Test against New Zealand at Wellington last week. Pic /AFP

If Ishant Sharma was not a very important bowler, the Indian team management wouldn't have got him on the plane to New Zealand immediately after his rehab in Bangalore and played a jet-lagged pacer in the first Test at Wellington where he delivered with a fifer despite coming off an ankle injury.

Ishant's revival since 2018 has been phenomenal. Even as Jasprit Bumrah gets most of the attention, Ishant has been quietly going about his business.

'Ishant's reinvented himself'

The 2.0 version of Ishant has impressed Aussie pace great Glenn McGrath. "The way he has come back in the last couple of years is impressive. I thought his career might have been finished at the international level, but he has reinvented himself," said McGrath on Wednesday during an interaction organised by Tourism Australia to unveil their plans for the men's T20 World Cup this year in October. Australian minister for trade, tourism and investment Simon Birmingham was also present.

After an impressive 2007-08 Australia tour, the lanky pacer endured a lull after 2011. In his first 42 Tests, he claimed 130 wickets. However, thereafter Ishant lost his form and sometimes struggled to be the first choice pacer. From 2012 to 2017, he claimed 96 wickets in 37 Tests.

Glenn McGrath during a promotional event in the city yesterday. PIC/ATUL KAMBLEGlenn McGrath during a promotional event in the city yesterday. Pic/ Atul Kamble

The Delhi pacer has reinvented himself and the results are showing—71 wickets in 18 Tests since the 2018 Test against South Africa at Centurion.

"He was bowling quick, aggressive, in good areas and was taking wickets. As he got on, he started to drop some pace and did not take the same wickets [as he used to do]," said the legendary pacer.

"He is now back to bowling quicker and taking wickets and the experience that he has got is holding him in good stead," added McGrath.

Be patient

The Indian pace pack is one of most feared at the moment. However, the way the NZ batters tackled them in the first Test has raised a few questions. McGrath suggested patience. "I have total faith in the Indian [bowling] line-up. In NZ, it swings more, seams a bit more. On those pitches that are doing a bit as a bowling unit, you have to do less. No two balls will be the same. Just be patient, just get the ball in the right areas," he said.

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