Sticking to my strengths: Sharma
Adelaide, Jan 25: Statistics don’t always tell the whole story and that stands true for lanky pacer Ishant Sharma. He may have conceded 100 runs in 30 overs without a wicket on Day 2 at Adelaide, but what the numbers don’t reflect are the piercing deliveries that the Australians got away with. Tagged as unlucky by many, the bowler says he derives motivation from playing for the country as he works hard and hopes for the best.
Excerpts from Ishant’s press conference after stumps on Day 2 of the fourth Test:
On whether he was the unluckiest bowler around
Well, you can’t really say [anything] about all these things because cricket is a funny game. You never know what’s going to happen next. The only thing you can do is hope for the best.
On bowling tirelessly even as the batsmen piled on the runs
When [one] chooses fast bowling [as a career], it’s obviously a tough thing to do. It’s not easy because when you are bowling on flat tracks in India, you don’t get [any assistance]. [One is] motivated to play for the country; that’s the most important thing for me. Running in and bowling hard for the country.
On how difficult it was to deviate from his natural length
People […] talk about all these things but I know what is good for me. I vary my length so that’s important and it’s working for me so I just keep working on my natural [game].
On Sachin Tendulkar’s advice to him
He didn’t ask me to bowl full because he knows that’s not my natural length. [He asked me to] stick to my strength, whatever it is, and just try to swing the ball if I could. The conditions here are helpful so if you can swing the ball a little bit, you have the chance to get [batsmen] out early.
On his length and the swing he would like to generate
It depends; if I am bowling one change, the ball is not in a good position to swing. It’s just [about the right] time. You need to be patient and bowl in the right areas.
On the feedback from people back home
When we are playing abroad, it’s good for us to not watch TV. Even my family doesn’t talk about what is going on in India […] We talk about everything but cricket.
On the morale in the dressing room
There is a positive [vibe]. Even the last time in 2003, they scored 550-odd runs and we won the game from there. So I think there is a positive you can take out from that. Everyone is positive and looking forward to a good three days.
On whether India were expecting a particular batsman to help them recover from their current position
You can’t say that. That’s a prediction. We don’t know who is going to score big and who is not. You never know what’s going to happen. Maybe some tailender will come in and score a hundred like [R] Ashwin did [against] the West Indie. You never know what will happen.
On bowling coach Eric Simmons
He is a very nice coach and we are getting along well with him […] He and I are a good combination. We talk a lot about my bowling and everything […] He doesn’t want to change much about my bowling. If we change my bowling too much, then maybe I’ll be dropped from the side again. So I don’t want to change much about my bowling.
On Umesh Yadav
He bowled quite well and with aggression. He knows where he is bowling so it’s nice to bowl with him.