“Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package (sic)!” This is Ishant Sharma’s status message on Facebook.
It seems, the India pacer has finally opened his “package”, or to put it correctly, baggage. The kind of cricket he has played in the last few months and, more recently, in the last two days against Australia in the first Test at Mohali, seems to be a confirmation.
Ishant has borne severe pain and pressure to reach this stage. He missed action in the first innings after bowling just 11.4 overs due to pain in the right knee.
His coach, Shrawan Kumar, told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the lanky fast bowler had been coping with the problem for a while and it was his will power that had kept him going. “He had complained of pain in his right knee and ankle earlier also, but he kept playing with a heavy dose of painkillers,” said Shrawan.
“I’ve even asked him to undergo an operation but that would mean at least three months of rest, and given the packed schedule, he doesn’t have that kind of time,” he added.
Asked why Ishant wasn’t spot-on in the first innings (he bowled 10 no-balls), Shrawan said, “He was not able to concentrate because of the pain.”
The past year has been a turbulent one for Ishant, be it his wayward bowling or his getting dropped from the India team as a result. But father, Vijay Sharma, says his son stayed firm. “Though he had to sit out, he was never frustrated. He practiced hard at the nets and played local matches to get back into rhythm and got better with every match,” he said.
So, is it time expect another “promising” phase from the lanky pacer? The answer lies in Ishant’s words: “Remember 2 things in life!!! (1) Don’t take any decision when ur angry (2) Don’t make any promise when ur really happy!!”