Delhi's 18-year-old speedster Ishant Sharma could soon be on his way to South Africa. Sources in the Indian cricket board say selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar wants him ready to join the Indian team before the third Test.
"Yes, Vengsarkar has mentioned his name for the third Test, but nothing is finalised as yet," confirmed the sources on Tuesday. Also on Monday, the team's official apparel company was reportedly instructed to prepare Ishant's clothing for the tour.
Though no BCCI official is ready to go on record, since Munaf Patel's ankle injury has shown little progress over the last one month, it would hardly be a surprise if he is asked to return to India.
Last month, when he watched Ishant bowl in his Ranji debut against Tamil Nadu, Vengsarkar was very impressed with the young lad. Ishant had earlier done well for the India U-19 team on tour to England and Pakistan early this year.
After playing his first U-17 match for Delhi two seasons back, the six-foot-four Ishant has rattled many a top batsmen with his sharp inswingers.
With 18 wickets in the last U-19 season, Ishant was picked for the junior NCA camp at Bangalore. Ishant never looked back and emerged the highest wicket-taker for Delhi in his debut Ranji one-day season.