India vs England: Playing county cricket helped me in Edgbaston, says Ishant Sharma

By: Sports Desk | Published: August 4, 2018 12:23:16 pm

India pacer Ishant Sharma, on Friday, completed his eighth five-wicket haul as the visitors bowled out England for 180 in the second innings. The 29-year old credited his county cricket experience for his return to form in the first Test against the Three Lions after the day’s play. Speaking to reporters at the press conference, Sharma, who took 15 wickets for Sussex in four matches in the County Championship Division Two earlier this year, said “Playing county cricket has helped me a lot. I was disappointed a bit (on missing out IPL) but I figured whatever happens it’s for your good. It was a good experience and I enjoyed it a lot. I played for Sussex and bowling with Duke’s ball was good.”

The fast bowler further added: “The good thing was I had overs behind me. I played four matches for Sussex, and a few One-Day matches too, but I bowled nearly 250 overs in that,” he said.

On his performance for India, where he dismantled the entire English middle order, Sharma said that he feels good about to represent his country. “It feels nice to represent your country, come abroad and take five wickets in an innings, especially the second one. I bowl hard but my wickets’ column doesn’t (always) become bigger. It feels nice to work hard as a bowler,” the bowler said.

Talking about his strategies, Ishant said that he just wanted that he ws advised by the bowling coach to bowl around the stumps at the start of his spell. “In the first innings, we wanted to take the ball away from the left-handers. I started over the stumps but when the ball started to do things I came around. Bowling coach told me to come around the stumps straightway. It becomes a difficult angle for the batsmen. When I start to swing the ball, it becomes very difficult for the left-handers,” he said.

The fast bowler also shunned the critics terming his a “defensive” bowler and said he always bowled as per situation demands. “I don’t know where the label (of being a defensive bowler) came from. I try to bowl depending on the situation. I just go with my gut feel and situation of the game,” he said. “At times you have to bowl defensively and at times you have to bowl attackingly. It depends on the situation, how you will deal with it, and I try to adapt to situation and bowl accordingly,” he said.

With India, reeling at 110/5 and needing 84 runs to win the first Test, Sharma, who scored a half century for Surrey, said that he can also provided assistance to the team with the bat, if needed. “The good thing is that I have scored a 50 in county cricket, so I am carrying that confidence in my batting as well. Hopefully, they don’t need me, and Virat and DK will do the job,” the seamer said.

He further went on to praise Kohli and said the India captain brings positive energy within the team. “He (Kohli) is someone who always gives you positive energy and that is a big thing as captain. He always wants to do something special for Team India and everybody knows how professional he is,” Sharma said.


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