Ishant Sharma takes a dig at Australian media over no-ball drama

Sudhir Gupta 19:22 15/12/2018
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Ishant Sharma.

India fast bowler Ishant Sharma took a dig at Australian media on Saturday for their continued focus on his no-ball issues.

Ishant was denied two wicket-taking opportunities as he overstepped in the first Test in Adelaide. During the first Test, Ishant bowled many no-balls that were not called by the on-field umpires and the local media has taken particularly keen interest in his front foot.

The India pacer has been a lot more disciplined in the second Test in Perth and when asked if the no-ball issues impacted him, the Delhi quick said: “Maybe the Australian media should answer the question. Not me. I have been playing cricket for so long. And these things happen. Because you are a human, you are bound to make a mistake. I was not worried about it at all,” Ishant said.

India reached 172-3 by stumps on Day Two after the hosts posted a healthy 326. Virat Kohli was batting on 82 and Ajinkya Rahane on 51, raising hopes of the Indian contingent. But Ishant said the game is still in the balance.

“Whenever Virat is batting we feel confident. We finished the day in a strong position. Hopefully they will both continue. The game is in the balance right now. Hopefully we will dominate the first session tomorrow,” he added.

Rahane in particular set the tone for India with 23 from the first 24 balls he faced. That, Ishant said, allowed the hosts to unsettle Australia’s plans.

“Rahane added quickfire 20-30 runs and they were really needed at that time. If they had played defensively then Australia would have stayed on their plans and it was important for him to counter attack to force them to change plans,” he added.

The veteran quick seemed off colour on the opening day of the Test but he was back to top pace on Saturday, finishing with excellent figures of 4-41 as Australia added 49 to their overnight score of 277-6.

“I think the wicket was really slow at that time (start of play). It wasn’t as up and down as it was after lunch when there was something there for the bowlers. The first hour was the best time to bat on at that wicket. As a senior bowler, a responsibility has been added.

“Whenever there is tough situation I like to bowl and take wickets. I have seen senior bowlers put up their hand in tough situations in the past and at that time I didn’t know much about it. But now in tough situations, I want to do the same,” he said.

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