Bag slung on his shoulder with spikes in one hand and a stump in the other, Ishant Sharma was the first at the ground on Monday. He walked with eager steps to the centre wicket net as if to wait for everyone to train him. Bowling and fielding coaches Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney followed him soon
before reserve left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat walked in.
As the rest of the team skipped the optional training, Dawes put Ishant through the paces. From Rajkot to Ranchi in the series, it was the most intense training session he has been part of with Ishant being made to bowl non-stop for one-and-half hours.
The training involved a lot of technical work on his delivery stride and follow through. Dawes lined up cones on the left of the final approach to the crease and on the right at the bowling crease.
The space was very tight and Ishant had to bowl through it. The main purpose was to ensure he didn’t go wide of the crease and after delivering the ball didn’t veer too much to the right.
The bowler first walked and bowled, then delivered off a shortened run-up before going to his normal run-up. There were frequent discussions about the spot where he was landing, which Penny was marking. The final exercise of the day for both Unadkat and Ishant was yorker-target practice.
Ishant seems to be really down on confidence and it will take a lot of work to get him up after Mohali.
For the kind of effort Dawes put in, if this doesn’t work, it is unlikely the bowling coach will have anything more to offer to Ishant.