India vs New Zealand: Better late than never - Ishant Sharma finally set to scale Mount 300

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Feb 28, 2020 08:51 AM IST

Virat Kohli’s troops trail the two-match series 1-0 following their abject 10-wicket loss in Wellington and the visitors will be hopeful of change in fortunes in the upcoming contest.

India fast-bowler Ishant Sharma will be on the cusp of joining elite players in an exclusive club when he takes to the field against New Zealand in the second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch starting Saturday. Virat Kohli’s troops trail the two-match series 1-0 following their abject 10-wicket loss in Wellington. However, there was one bright spot for India in the form of Ishant, who scalped a sensational five-wicket haul in the first innings to bring India back briefly into the contest.

File image of India pacer Ishant Sharma.(REUTERS)
File image of India pacer Ishant Sharma.(REUTERS)

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Ishant is just three wickets away from becoming the sixth Indian bowler to scalp 300 Test wickets. He will also become just the third India pacer to achieve this feat after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan. The other India bowlers to pick wicket in excess of 300 are Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin.

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If he manages to achieve this feat, Ishant will become the slowest (in terms of Tests) bowler to complete 300 Test wickets. This will be his 98th Test and he will surpass former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori in the list, who took 94 Tests to achieve this milestone.

Ishant, who has been hot and cold in his Test career, has managed to turnaround his career brilliantly and since 2018, has been a regular member of the Indian pace battery. He has taken 71 wickets since 2018 at an average of 19.14 which is 2nd best among all the pacers with min. 50 wickets.

Also Read: ‘We’re ready for him’: Latham reveals NZ’s plans to tackle Virat Kohli

Recently, legendary Aussie pacer Glenn McGrath heaped praise on Ishant and he labelled the pacer’s comeback into the Indian team as ‘impressive’.

“Ishant has a lot of experience, the way he’s comeback in the last couple years, its been impressive. I thought his career might have been finished at international level, but he has reinvented himself and he is bowling well,” the former Australian was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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