Pacers are gelling well: Ishant Sharma
The MS Dhoni-led Indian team beat England in the inaugural international game at the JSCA stadium to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series. The home team’s bowling attack set up a convincing victory by bundling England out for a small total, after asking the visitors to bat first. The pace trio – Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed – cleaned up the top order, while Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina sent back the rest of the line-up to bowl England out for 155.
Ishant Sharma who has made his way back into the one-day side recently sent back the dangerous Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root. While speaking to bcci.tv after the thumping victory, the tall Indian pacer spoke about his team’s performance.
Excerpts from his interview:
On winning at MS Dhoni’s brand new home ground
It is an amazing ground and it is the captain’s hometown and everything; so it is a good feeling to play in his state and win.
On India’s young bowling unit
We have a young bowling attack and we don’t have much experience but we are working hard in our bowling and developing our skills and whatever’s needed in certain situations. And we make sure we execute the plans that we discuss in the team meetings. Obviously, we are executing those plans so it is good for the team and the fast bowlers as well.
On picking the key wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root
Wicket is always a wicket, whether it is Pietersen or whoever. But yes, Kevin Pietersen is the main batsman in the team when it comes to middle order. So when we took that wicket at that time, the momentum was with us. So it is crucial to take it, I am proud of it.
On whether they expected to warp England up for such a small total
We don’t think about the results, we think about the process. We are just doing our process, whatever we need to do in a certain situation and result takes care of itself. Obviously, we are doing the process right.
Cricket is a funny game and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. But as I said, if you do your process right in cricket, then you do the right things.
On how they prepare for playing at a new ground
I don’t think we need to prepare anything. It is our homeland; that’s the benefit for us. The crowd is always cheering for us, so that is the plus point for us. And obviously, when you do the practice session one day before the match, you get to know how the wicket is behaving, how the field is behaving.
On his preparations ahead of the season
I have been working on so many things, like fitness and everything. I did so many things with bowling coach Joe Dawes. He has helped me quite a lot with my bowling. Getting stronger is the most important thing about being a fast bowler and the hard work that you need to do being a fast bowler is important. Then the skill preparations – to bowl the yorkers, to bowl the slower one, to develop a new stock delivery to use at a certain time – all those things you are working with the bowling coach and then you get to know how these things are important for your career.
On whether there were lessons from the Test series against England that helped while taking them on in the one-dayers
We have seen so many of their players in the Test matches and also we see so many videos of all the players, so we know where we need to bowl; but the formats are different, so you can’t really compare.
On what specifically he’s been working on
There are more variations. The first five overs that you bowl are different and the next five overs you need to bowl different. You need to keep varying your length and keep varying your pace as well.
On being one of the most experienced bowlers in the squad
I don’t think I am the senior fast bowler in the team because everyone is of a similar age, though I have played more matches and I have played with other boys as well. And whatever help they need from me, I am always there and then the bowling coach is there. There is good communication between each other. I think is a good thing for being a good bowling unit.
On the bowling unit’s work ethic
We are a hardworking group. All the credit goes to the bowling coach because he knows how important these things are in one-day cricket and how you need to bowl; and when the situation is a high pressure one how you are going to bowl.