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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

IPL 2017: How Virender Sehwag’s phone call gave Ishant Sharma a new lease of life

Ishant Sharma was picked by Kings XI Punjab for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 as a replacement for Murali Vijay. He was a choice made by Virender Sehwag

ipl-2017 Updated: Apr 05, 2017 14:12 IST
New Delhi
Ishant Sharma has been picked up Kings XI Punjab to strengthen their pace attack ahead of IPL 2017.
Ishant Sharma has been picked up Kings XI Punjab to strengthen their pace attack ahead of IPL 2017.(AP)

Having gone unsold in this year’s Indian Premier League auctions, Ishant Sharma has been handed a fresh lease of life by the Kings XI Punjab, after the franchisee roped him in for the upcoming 10th edition of the league. Punjab, who have been consistently under par in the league finished at the bottom of the table, are this year led by Glenn Maxwell with Virender Sehwag serving as the head of the cricket operations. (IPL SCHEDULE)

Ishant Sharma said that after the snub at the auctions, he was planning to join a county in England and was scouting for opportunities when Viru called him two days back.

“I wasn’t in talks with any county but was trying to find the right opportunity. He (Viru bhai) called me and asked whether I was doing something or not. That was when I was first approached,” he said. A veteran of 77 Tests, the 28-year-old pacer has 88 wickets from the 107 Twenty20 matches and brings with him vast amount of experience adding to the strength of Punjab’s pace department.

“Right now, I just want to play. It didn’t matter whether it was IPL or county. Champions Trophy is too far to think about it. All the fast bowlers are doing well and there is lot of competition. All I want to do is play good cricket for KXIP and win games,” Ishant said. Ishant is coming off from a keenly-contested India-Australia Test series where he played three matches and taking three wickets.

READ | What Sunrisers Hyderabad’s veteran pacer Ashish Nehra does to remain quick

Ishant Sharma acknowledged the contributions of the fast bowler in the successful home season for India wherein the side played 13 Test matches.

“Right now the team has different set of fast bowlers. Umesh (Yadav) and (Mohammed) Shami are quite similar but then Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar) is a different kind of bowler, while I have advantage of height. So, right now if a fast bowler is injured we have a backup,” he said.

Ishant Sharma said after playing T20 after Test matches becomes easier as there is not a lot of adjustment required.

“In Test it about how many overs you can bowl, while T20 is all about executing your plans and using your skills. Fitness also becomes important in T20,” he said.

First Published: Apr 04, 2017 18:31 IST

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