Ishant Sharma trained under Jason Gillespie ahead of 2018 cricket season. (Getty Images)
Ishant Sharma trained under Jason Gillespie ahead of 2018 cricket season. (Getty Images)

'This is what he got right': VVS Laxman explains how Jason Gillespie helped Ishant Sharma become more lethal

  • India vs England: VVS Laxman explained how former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie helped Ishant become a more lethal fast-bowler in 2018.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2021 09:54 AM IST

Ishant Sharma became the third Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan to pick up 300 Test wickets for India. It was a big feat for him as he navigated through all the ups and downs in his career to also became the most capped player in the current Indian Test team. He picked up the wicket of England batsman Dan Lawrence to bring up the milestone on Day 4 of the Chennai Test against England.

He has been one of the most consistent performers for India in Test match cricket and his contribution was lauded by former India batsman VVS Laxman.

Also Read | Ishant Sharma: Miles and miles, and a splendid milestone

“When I was tweeting about his 300th wicket, I remembered the debut Test match of Ishant in 2007 against Pakistan. A tall, lanky fast-bowler. We all knew he had the talent to do well for India. But the amount of hard work he exhibited throughout his career. There was Zaheer and other talented fast bowlers like RP Singh, Sreesanth, or Irfan Pathan, but here was one fast bowler who was ready and prepared to bowl 20 overs every day not every innings but every day. There’s a reason why he has had this longevity,” Laxman said in the post-match show on Star Sports.

“In the last eight months, he has been struggling with injuries. But over a period of so many years, to play consistently one format of the game because almost 4-5 years back, it was very clear that he is not going to be part of white-ball cricket for India. But he worked hard.”

Also Read | 'He has started doing that in last 2-3 years': Gavaskar on Ishant's improvement

Laxman went on to narrate how former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie helped Ishant become a more lethal fast-bowler in 2018.

“What changed since 2018, is his wrist position. He is a very hard-working bowler, always looking to improve. He went to Sussex, worked with Jason Gillespie, played in the country championship, and was working on his seam position. And this is what he got right. Since then, he is pitching the ball up and he is ending up getting more wickets,” Laxman added.

“He has been a real workhorse for this Indian cricket team and I salute him because it’s tough bowling in Indian conditions and picking up those wickets. I just hope he continues to prosper because not only his bowling is important but his presence in the Indian dressing room is also very important as he shares his knowledge with the youngsters.”

Fellow expert on the show, Mark Butcher also talked about the influence of Gillespie on Ishant. Butcher went on to say that Ishant picked up 300 wickets despite the fact he played half of his matches in the sub-continent and that makes the achievement more impressive.

“Jason Gillespie’s mantra as a fast bowler was always to try and hit the stumps. Try and hit the batsman below the knee role. That was what he did so successfully as a fast bowler for Australia. And ever since he has done that, Ishant’s length has been that exact sort of the same length,” said Butcher.

“Yes, he will get one to kick and drive through as he is a big and tall man but he also brings the stumps into play. He has that great control of that reverse swing. It’s a great accolade. To take 300 Test wickets when you play half of your matches on pitches like these on the subcontinent speak volumes about him as a bowler.”

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