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Fit Ishant ready for Bangladesh challenge

For Delhi fast bowler Ishant Sharma life has come a full circle, after the Indian cricket board's flip-flop last winter on sending him to South Africa. But for him the disappointment is a passé and he is now ready for the Bangladesh tour.

cricket Updated: May 18, 2007 18:00 IST

For Delhi fast bowler Ishant Sharma life has come a full circle, after the Indian cricket board's flip-flop last winter on sending him to South Africa. But for him the disappointment is a passé and he is now ready for the Bangladesh tour.

"This is a part of the game. I have worked hard after that and especially on my fitness. I attended the national camp in Kolkata and the seniors told me to take care of my fitness and I did it and now it's my turn," Sharma said, after being informed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he will be replacing Munaf Patel for the final Test in Bangladesh.

Patel has been ruled out of the two match Test series, after he was declared unfit due to a lower back pain. Left arm pace Rudra Pratap Singh replaced him for the first Test against Bangladesh that began in Chittagong on Friday.

"I am looking forward for the tour as it will be a huge learning experience for me. Being in the company of senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly will boost my confidence," said the 18-year-old Sharma.

The BCCI last December decided to send Sharma to South Africa to join the Indian team and replace out of form Irfan Pathan. But the decision was put on hold and Sharma was asked to concentrate on domestic cricket.

Delhi's Ranji coach, Chetan Chauhan was also elated and said that the fast bowler had all the abilities to be a success in Bangladesh.

"He has the potential and the all the pre-requisites to be a good fast bowler. It was unfortunate that last time he didn't get a chance but this time he will really do well, if he gets a chance," said Chauhan.

India will play the second and the last Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur from May 25.