London : Pace spearhead Ishant Sharma credited captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for instructing him to bowl bouncers which helped India win the second Test at Lord’s here on Monday to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
After drawing the first Test at Trent Bridge, India won the second match by 95 runs. Right-arm pacer Ishant rattled the England batsmen by bowling bouncers regularly which helped him earn career-best figures of 7/74 and the Man of the Match award.
“Cricket is a great leveller, the way MS bhai handled the team, the way he keeps on motivating the guys. I think all these wickets are not for me, it is only for the captain, he told me you are tall enough, you have to try the bouncer,” said the lanky Ishant in the post-match presentation.
The Delhi-born seamer credited his teammates for their performances which aided India in winning their second Test ever at Lord’s since 1986. “The way batsmen played in the first innings, Ajinkya (Rahane) played really well in the first innings, that gave us the momentum. Also the way (Murali) Vijay played, Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) also,” added the 25-year-old.
PTI adds: Meanwhile, Ishant’s childhood coach Sharvan Kumar feels that all the criticism that the bowler faced in recent times was ‘justified’ and is also proud that his favourite ward has answered back in the best possible way.
“You can’t deny that consistency has been a big problem for Ishant. Hopefully, this will be the series that will make him a better bowler. He got a flak for his inconsistency and it was justified. Or else, he wouldn’t have been able to correct his flaws and come
back stronger,” said Sharvan. Asked about the kind of problems that Ishant faced, Sharvan didn’t mince words in blaming former India bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad for the problems that
crept up in his bowling. “Ishant is a quick bowler whom Prasad insisted on turning into a line and length bowler. He lost his natural affinity for speed at one point of time. One thing led to other and his action became flawed.
The shoulder started dropping and the wrist position also suffered. This caused a drop in pace as well as confidence,” said Sharvan, who coached Ishant at the Patel Nagar’s Ramjas College ground since he was teenager.