Ishant Sharma is currently the most experienced India pacer. In Australia, he shone in patches but didn’t live up to expectations during that Test series loss and a knee injury then sidelined him for the World Cup.
Although he has regained full fitness and made his Indian Premier League comeback, the pacer is struggling to break into the playing XI of Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has played just one game out of nine this season.
In the only game, an erratic Ishant went for 46 runs in three overs as the CSK batsmen clobbered him. He added to his woes, bowling four no balls. Since then, former India seamer Pravin Kumar, on the final leg of his career, has found more favour with the team management.
India too has found a newer crop of pacers who have played well together. Pacers Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma surprised many with their performances in the World Cup.
With India’s next series slated just a week after the curtain falls on the IPL, Ishant’s comeback might not be so easy, although Shami’s knee surgery opens a window of opportunity.Sunrisers mentor VVS Laxman didn’t spare Ishant, even saying that bowler over-stepping was not acceptable at the big stage. Coach Tom Moody conceded that it is not the injury but a lack of bowling discipline that is the concern with Ishant. "He is fully fit, He had a few issues with the no-ball which was a concern," he said.
According to former India pacer Madan Lal, Ishant will have to raise his game or risk being left behind.
“Hopefully he will get a game in the remaining matches, but as of now he seems to have lost his bite. Other bowlers have gone past him. Now, it will be up to him to start from scratch,” he said.
“He is still young and should make a comeback. However, the fact that he is not even being considered in the playing XI of an IPL side does raise concerns whether he can be an active member of India’s limited overs squad.”