The mention of Ishant Sharma evokes images of a beanstalk figure bubbling with energy. But on Wednesday, the India fast bowler presented a different picture. Gone was the liveliness and in its place was a tired facade. Still, the 20-year-old did not allow the weariness overshadow the task on hand — a training session with 16 aspiring cricketers in the Capital on Wednesday. On his return from South Africa, Ishant spoke to HT on issues like the Indian Premier League and Twenty20 World Cup. Excerpts:
How was the South Africa experience?
(In a hushed tone) It was one of the difficult phases of my life. Ever since I started playing, be it for Delhi or India, I have never lost so many matches at a stretch. Ten losses out of 14 is a bad score.
Are you satisfied with the way you bowled?
I didn't bowl well in a few games, particularly, against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Brendon McCullum (the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper) batted well and we could have won the game.
Ashoke Dinda said that Sourav Ganguly should have been captain. What's your take?
Any captain comes under pressure when the team performs poorly. Had Sourav been captain, he would have felt the pressure too. We failed as a unit.
Mention an unforgettable moment and something you'd rather forget.
Hard times make hard people. A series can be bad but the IPL was really tough.
Are you looking at a transfer?
I don't want to say anything about it right now. Actually, it's not in my hand.
How do you view India's prospects in the T20 World Cup?
We have played a lot of T20 cricket so are not short on practice. Besides, it is a game of momentum. On a given day, whichever team plays with the right impetus will take the cup.
There's talk of mental and physical fatigue due to too much cricket. Do you think they can impede a player's performance?
Rest and training are the key points to be kept in mind. If one has enough rest and is training enough, it's not a problem. Also, timing is important.
Are you feeling the pressure after coming back from an unsuccessful tournament?
It's a challenge I have to face and I hope to come good. Last time (in the T20 World Championship), Sreesanth, RP Singh and Zaheer Khan did well.
Given an opportunity, I hope to give my best. Coming to pressure, people have a lot of expectations and I am learning to live with it.