Kevin Pietersen hails Ishant Sharma for “fabulous spell” on Day 2 in Chennai

Ishant Sharma celebrates a wicket with teammates. Pic: BCCI

Ex-England cricketer Kevin Pietersen had words for praise for veteran Indian pacer Ishant Sharma even as the visitors dominated Day 2 of the Chennai Test.

Ishant Sharma dismissed the dangerous Jos Buttler (30) and Jofra Archer (0) off successive deliveries to give India something to cheer about towards the end of another long day in the field.

Taking to his Twitter account, Pietersen singled out the spell by Ishant Sharma in the last session of play, and wrote:

“Fabulous little spell here from Ishant. And I say fabulous, as 170 overs in the field is like a prison sentence! He is also an unsung hero. He has been around for many a year in Indian cricket. As a fast bowler it is highly commendable!”

Despite Ishant Sharma’s twin strikes, England ended the day with the upper hand. Their skipper Joe Root continued his great form with the bat, scoring 218 and becoming the first cricketer to notch up a double hundred in his 100th Test.

Root featured in a century stand with Ben Stokes (82) as England resumed the day on 263 for 3. They were 555 for 8 at stumps, with Dom Bess unbeaten on 28 from 84 and Jack Leach on 6 from 28.

Apart from Pietersen, Indian left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem also admitted that Ishant Sharma’s two quick wickets were important to lift India’s morale. Speaking at the end of the day’s play, he told the media:

“Ishant’s two wickets were very crucial as he dismissed Buttler and Archer. He took wickets on successive deliveries and this kind of performance obviously uplifts the morale of the side. So, I feel those two wickets were important for us as if we did not get those two wickets there would have been a batsman on the crease rather than tailenders. Now, two England bowlers are on the crease, so we can say we have got an upper hand.”

Nadeem himself claimed two wickets, which were the big ones of Root and Stokes, but conceded 167 runs in his 44 overs. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin also picked up two scalps each as they sent down 31 and 50 overs respectively.

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