‘People do things when driven by emotion,’ Ishant Sharma on hilarious Steve Smith impersonation
Remember 2017… the year your Instagram and Twitter timelines were filled with Ishant Sharma’s bizarre facial expression when the fast bowler attempted to mock Steve Smith during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy? Yes. Turns out all Ishant was doing was trying to unsettle the batsman as he felt it was needed to throw the in-form batsman off his game.
Australia had beaten India by 333 runs in the first Test in Pune to take an early 1-0 lead in the four-match series, a match in which Smith had scored a century in the second innings. As the second Test headed to Bengaluru, and India were bowled out for 189 in the first innings, Ishant recalled how it was one of those days he got carried away.
“It was a close game. Bhavnaaon mein behke aadmi kuch bhi karta hai (People do all sorts of things when driven by emotions),” the India quick told Mayank Agarwal in a BCCI video.
“We had lost the Pune Test, and the series was on the line. The wicket on Bengaluru had its ups-and-downs. You try your best to upset the batsman. He was playing, and doing all sorts of things. I tried my best to upset him. I knew if I could get his wicket, we can win the match. So, I was trying to get him out of his comfort zone. I knew if he became comfortable, he could win the match.”
Ishant’s shenanigans have at times landed him in trouble. In September of 2015, he, along with Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal copped a one-match suspension that forced the India quick to miss the first Test against South Africa the month after. But each time he went out of the way to try out a few things, Ishant insists he had the backing of his captain Virat Kohli.
“He is an aggressive captain; he loves it when you show aggression and he doesn’t tell you anything for that. He always says just get me the wicket and do whatever you want. He just tells me not to get banned. So, when I was banned in Sri Lanka he came again and said do everything you want but just don’t get banned.”