Two young men from Delhi, at different ends of the spectrum, have taken the IPL by storm in the last couple of days.
Blame it on me having been a pace bowler, but I would first like to talk about Ishant Sharma’s performance on Wednesday. It was an absolute delight to watch him bowl against the Kochi Tuskers. Ishant has struggled for a while, but he came up with a telling spell which should serve as a strong reminder to all fast bowlers that they too belong in T20 cricket.
It can’t get better
Right from the start, Ishant was on target. He bowled some unplayable deliveries, and most importantly, the five wickets he picked up were earned through his incredible bowling. Sometimes, wickets are gifted away, especially in T20 cricket, but here, each of Ishant’s wickets had to do with the merit of the ball. Ishant should use this devastating spell to convince himself that he still has a bright future.
While it will do his confidence a world of good, Ishant will do well to use this as a stepping stone. He must build on this performance but crucially, he has already served a strong reminder to the selectors that he can’t be ignored for too long.
Where Ishant’s graph has dipped somewhat in the last few months, Virat Kohli’s has been upwardly mobile. His batting has moved up to a different level, and he showed how far he has come on with the exceptional half-century against the Delhi Daredevils.
Virat has shown that in order to score quickly, even in T20 cricket, you don’t need to manufacture strokes hit cross-batted shots or slog and be brutal. Within the India team, he is regarded as someone who takes his time and builds an innings. That’s why in the World Cup, when the innings needed a thrust, someone else was promoted and Virat was pushed down the order.
Safe yet effective
With his half-century in Delhi and the manner in which he constructed it, Virat has proved that he is capable of batting as freely as anyone else without sacrificing flair and correctness. The innings was remarkably risk-free, he punished the bad balls and put away some good balls too.