Ishant Sharma will receive his 100th Test cap on Wednesday at the Motera, the world’s largest cricket stadium.
Ahead of his 100th Test appearance for India, Sharma credited the former Indian pacer Zaheer Kan for playing a part in his success. He also hoped Bumrah to lead the way for the youngsters after him.
Making his Test debut for India against Bangladesh in 2007, Ishant saw Zaheer Khan as the pillar of the Indian pace bowling unit. Both Khan and Sharma have shared the new ball various times in Test cricket.
In a virtual press conference before the third Test match between India and England, Sharma mentioned that he was excited to receive his 100th Test cap. Only Kapil Dev who has played 131 Test matches has played more than Ishant among the pacers India has produced.
While talking about Zaheer Khan’s role in his journey, Ishant Sharma said, “I cannot say about that one thing that took my graph or brought it down. Obviously, it feels great to be playing 100 Tests, I learnt a lot from
Zaheer Khan, I learnt from his work ethic. I have told everyone playing in the team that if you keep on working on your fitness, the rewards will come.”
Zaheer Khan played Test Cricket for India from 2000 to 2014 as he represented the nation in 92 Test matches while scalping 311 wickets. The left-arm bowler has an average of 32.94 in Test cricket. However, injuries did not allow him to play regularly for India in the later stages of his career. If it was not for fitness issues, Zaheer Khan would have reached the 100 Test milestone.
Additionally, Ishant Sharma also praised Jasprit Bumrah by suggesting that the pacer, who has emerged as one of the main bowlers in the last few games, has to lead the way for youngsters after his departure.
“Jasprit Bumrah has to lead the way for the youngsters after me. The way he grooms the youngsters, the way he talks to them is important. Saini has pace, Siraj has control. Everyone’s skill is different. If you ask Saini to bowl in one area, you are not doing justice to his strength. If you ask Siraj to bowl consistently at 140, you are not backing his strength. So, it is important to understand their strengths first,” Sharma said.
With the third Test match starting tomorrow, Ishant would join Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh, Virendra Sehwag, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, and VVS Laxman as the Indian cricketers to have played 100 Test matches.