If Harbhajan Singh had been fit for the first Test at Chittagong, Ishant Sharma might not have got a chance to play. But everything happens for the good, they say. India got a revitalised Ishant back.
Virender Sehwag had a big role to play in getting Ishant into the XI and for that, the lanky pacer should be indebted to the India vice-captain.
Ishant had burst into limelight with a brilliant series in Australia in 2007-08. The way he made Ricky Ponting his bunny made experts say he was the best thing to happen to Indian cricket. But, then, after three years in the spotlight, Ishant found his form dipping. He was getting hit to all corners and skipper Dhoni’s persistence with him during batting powerplays saw his form and confidence dip further.
He was 'rested' for the Test series against Sri Lanka and went back to play Ranji Trophy for Delhi. He was included for the Bangladesh Test series and is back with a bang.
On Sunday, he bagged four wickets but the one that got last-match centurion, Mushfiqur Rahim trapped leg-before, showed that the tall paceman was back in business. He set the right-hander up with two balls that moved away slightly and then got the third to dart back sharply, which foxed Rahim.
“This year, I am bowling better. I have a better rhythm now and it has been a good start to the year. It feels good to have done well so far and I will take a lot of confidence into the South Africa series,” Ishant said. “I think getting my form back was a big challenge because I was desperate to perform. I have never faced this kind of a hard time in my life. Zaheer has helped me a lot. He always talks to me and tells me whether I am bowling good or bad.”