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Home / Cricket / MS Dhoni never said we’ll look for someone to replace you even after my first 50-60 Tests: Ishant Sharma reveals how former India captain backed him

MS Dhoni never said we’ll look for someone to replace you even after my first 50-60 Tests: Ishant Sharma reveals how former India captain backed him

India pacer Ishant Sharma was never a bowler who ran after statistics, something that he revealed in a recent interview. He just wanted to go out and do what his captain, MS Dhoni, asked him to do. Ishant was often used as a buffer option by Dhoni during his days as captain and he played his role to perfection without caring about how many wickets he had picked in the match.

cricket Updated: Aug 06, 2020 06:36 IST
hindustantimes.com
hindustantimes.com
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India's MS Dhoni reacts after catching Pakistan's Asad Shafiq for 41 off the bowling of Ishant Sharma during their ICC Champions Trophy cricket match at Edgbaston cricket ground, Birmingham, England, Saturday June 15, 2013.
India's MS Dhoni reacts after catching Pakistan's Asad Shafiq for 41 off the bowling of Ishant Sharma during their ICC Champions Trophy cricket match at Edgbaston cricket ground, Birmingham, England, Saturday June 15, 2013. (AP)

It is a widely known fact that Ishant Sharmais one of the most improved bowlers in Test cricket over the past 5 years or so. The lanky pacer has come of age and is rightly looked upon as the leader of the pack in the whites.

The fact that Ishant has shone bright in an era when the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have dominated the wickets column and fast bowlers like Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah had made the world sit up and take notice of India’s pace attack speaks volumes of his resolve, determination and longevity in the game.

But there was a time Ishant Sharma wasn’t this effective. The fact that he has played close to 100 Test matches after having such modest statistics is something many fans couldn’t understand.

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The paceman was never a bowler who ran after statistics, something that he revealed in a recent interview. He just wanted to go out and do what his captain, MS Dhoni, asked him to do. Ishant was often used as a buffer option by Dhoni during his days as captain and he played his role to perfection without caring about how many wickets he had picked in the match.

“MS Dhoni (the captain when Sharma’s numbers were middling) always backed me,” Sharma told ESPNCricinfo in a show called ‘cricketbaaz.’

“Even after my first 50-60 Tests, he never said we’ll look for someone to replace you. To tell you the truth, even after playing 97 Tests, I still don’t understand things like average and strike rate! I’ve never bothered about these things.

“If I’m not able to understand them, why should I rely on them? It’s just a number after all. If I am bowling in India and the captain tells me to bowl in a way that I concede only 40 runs in 20 overs and that the spinners will take care of picking up wickets, that’s what is important to me,” the 32-year-old paceman said.

Ishant, who made his debut way back in 2007, has picked up 297 wickets in 97 Tests at an average of 32.39. He also has 115 wickets to his name in 80 ODIs for India.

He stressed on the fact that he just wanted to play the role Dhoni had given him and that is the reason why the former India captain trusted him despite having average stats in Test cricket.

“It doesn’t matter to me that my bowling average is around 37. My communication will be with my captain and that’s why Dhoni backed me,” Ishant said.

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