“You have to appreciate Ishant Sharma”: Ashish Nehra

Ishant Sharma has been at his penetrative best in the last few years.

Ashish Nehra has lauded Ishant Sharma for the hard yards he has put in over the years, which have yielded him rich dividends.

Ishant Sharma became the third Indian pacer to reach the 300-wicket milestone in Test cricket on the fourth day of the ongoing Chennai Test against England. The lanky pacer trapped Dan Lawrence in front of the wicket to reach the landmark.

While talking about Ishant Sharma’s achievement on Star Sports, Ashish Nehra pointed out that the 32-year old has been duly rewarded for the effort he has put in throughout his career.

“You have to appreciate Ishant Sharma. It takes a lot of time for a bowler to take 300 wickets. The way he has bowled in the last two years is praiseworthy; we always keep talking about his length. It took him a little while but he got there finally. He has always worked on his fitness, gives time to the game and when you do that the game rewards you,” said Nehra

The former Indian pacer highlighted that Ishant Sharma has held his own despite intense competition from more talented bowlers like Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah because of his hard work.

“When you talk about the ability and capability, about the talent, I will say Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Bumrah have greater skill levels than him, but he is still able to compete with them because of his hard work. And when you talk about fast bowling, 75-80% role is performed by fitness,” added Nehra.

Ashish Nehra attributed the enormous success enjoyed by Ishant Sharma in the last few years to the fuller lengths he has been bowling, something he has learned with experience.

“His length used to be quite short earlier. Every bowler is different; we have seen Javagal Srinath and Morne Morkel had that type of length. He has got a few helpful pitches in the last couple of yearsm but the way he has used his experience, you need to praise him,” observed Nehra.

The 41-year old concluded by observing that fuller lengths play a pivotal role in a fast bowler’s success in the longest format of the game. In this regard, Ashish Nehra cited the examples of Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn to drive home his point.

“The length is everything in Test cricket. You can see Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock or Dale Steyn. Unless there is a bowler like Jasprit Bumrah, Waqar Younis or Wasim Akram and the ball is reversing, you see very few yorkers and slower balls and generally see length bowling, outswing and inswing along with an odd bouncer. He has moved his length up, and his wrists have worked very well round the stumps against left-handers,” concluded Nehra.

Ishant Sharma has accounted for 300 wickets in 98 Tests, doing so at an average of 32.32. He has been at his potent best since the start of 2018, taking 74 wickets in 19 Tests at an average of just 19.39 runs.

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