Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma's childhood coach Shravan Kumar said the fearlessness of the team's Test skipper Virat Kohli has rubbed off on Sharma and that was the main reason why the lanky pacer crossed the line of aggression in the recent series in Sri Lanka.
"He bowled very well but got too aggressive. That is something he could have avoided. Aggression is fine as long as you are not making a physical contact or abusing. There should not be any body contact. If you do that then you are penalised. That is what happened with Ishant," Delhi-based Kumar told PTI, referring to the one-Test ban Sharma received for his boorish behaviour in Sri Lanka.
The coach said his ward was unusually aggressive and captain Kohli played a role in it. "It (Sharma becoming overtly aggressive) is because of Kohli's aggressiveness. He believes in playing fearless cricket and doesn't hold back. The atmosphere of the dressing room is to play fearless and that rubbed off on Ishant too. But fearless does not necessarily mean that you become ill-mannered. What happened was in bad taste," Kumar was forthright in his view.
In a surprising display of aggression, Ishant Sharma, centre, celebrated the dismissal of Dinesh Chandimal on the fourth day of the third Test by hitting the side of his head repeatedly. (AFP Photo)
He further said Sharma did not need to cross the line as he was letting his ball do the talking anyway. "Ishant is back home but I have not spoken to him yet. I will give him my piece of mind when I meet him. Aggression is acceptable if you are getting the batsman out, else there is no point of being belligerent.
"Sledging is to distract the player but there should not be any physical contact. It (sledging) has been there for many years but there is a way to do it. Now that he has got a one-match ban, it is not good for him as well as the team," Kumar said.
Umpire Nigel Llong, right, spoke to Ishant Sharma in a bid to cool things down after an argument between Sharma and Sri Lankan bowler Dhammika Prasad during the fourth day of the third Test. (Reuters Photo)
Ishant let the ball talk indeed, especially in the third and decisive Test where he picked up eight wickets to help his team to a famous series win. In all, the speedster took 13 wickets. "He bowled well but he can do even better. I will advice him to bowl more full length balls when I meet him next. Also, playing all formats is too taxing on the body. I want to see him playing Tests and he can pack in an IPL season at most," the coach added.