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Ishant Sharma

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Eight years ago a rangy fast bowler entered the Indian Test team with promises reminiscent of the former lanky paceman, Javagal Srinath. His height and fierce approach once again brought prospects to an otherwise lackadaisical run up of Indian fast bowling. It is something that Indians dream of on a regular basis and equally irregular has been its outcome. In fact, Indians have categorized fast bowling as an extreme sport act and those spells add to a few glitters in the otherwise long, dark, slow story. So they execute or try to do so, only when it can’t be avoided at all. What goes wrong with their fast bowlers may define the word ‘guessing’ better than any dictionary can, worldwide. It has the right ingredient to spur some serious identity crisis for several blogging attempts and research work equally. So Ishant Sharma drops his head when the ball is released, chooses several wrist positions, kills the momentum with his falling hair and what not. From experts’ to street opinion, Ishant Sharma is popular everywhere and each avid or placid Indian cricket lover will tell you the obvious common stuff because either he has seen the unbelievable through his naked eyes, read it somewhere or heard from someone when a match has gone haywire. The team was about to win and that was just about it.

From 145kmph to 135 kmph or so, the intermittent 148, to the ace 152, Ishant has attained it all. For a lifetime, one straight and famous delivery to send Ricky Ponting in relaxing mode is enough. We all remember such spells, but the problem is that we expect more.
Is that a problem though?
No, it is not. Shouldn’t be. To set us clinging on to the game, they got to play it hard and classy. Any recently started cricketing kid will tell you how bad the ball is, if it wants to kiss the hip region of the batsman or forms a symmetrical arc from sideways on a flat track.

Ishant has been banging the leather on those flat tracks after every success, failure or a break from nowhere. It has been eight consistent years of coming, becoming big again, flopping again and then, being left out for a while again. The recent one test match ban for his over paced behaviour just adds one more reason to his break from the first test against South Africa. But guy, bowling 19 overs without a boundary is something that this ‘regularly obedient to his tedious task master’ can do. Ishant Sharma at times does the rare things. None could remove that rarity bit from his performance though. Experts have showered their praise and experts have wondered, why they did so.

It’s time, Ishant should lead the Indian pace attack from the front. In these past eight years, it was always time when Ishant should have led the Indian pace attack from the front. Unlike others, he is mostly fit. What’s not mostly fit is his length. When the length gets going, what’s not mostly fit is the pace that can disturb a batsman more often. Rarely though, when these two combine, most of the well known batsmen around the world don’t find peace at a place they love occupying the most. Almost 11 overs for a wicket are way too many. When Ishant gets going, no one thinks about those 11 hapless attempts. Things are happening so quickly. Wickets are falling from nowhere. There comes a beauty and then follow many more.

Hopefully, as often with Ishant, we will all get to see some wonders against South Africa. He is bowling with a nip blended with some verbal aggression. If the later part doesn’t mount to a ban, he should be fine and offending right where he should be.
As we concluded earlier, no article can contain the Ishant story as a whole. So we will write again when required and hopefully that time will come soon since it is on one Ishant Sharma who keep doing a cycle again and again.

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