Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma
Photo Credit: AFP

According to reports, Ishant Sharma's ankle injury has resurfaced. This means the lanky Indian pacer could sit out in the second Test match against New Zealand with Umesh Yadav becoming the potential replacement.

Ishant was the only bright light in an otherwise damp performance by the Indians in the first Test match against New Zealand. His five-wicket haul ensured India took the match to the fourth day. His fifer, paired with Ravichandran Ashwin’s three-wicket haul proved to be vital in restricting the Kiwis.

As Ishant (5/68 in 22.2 overs) remained the stand-out bowler for India, his five-wicket haul was 11th of his career in Test cricket. With that, he joined legendary Indian bowler Zaheer Khan in the elite list of Indian pacers with most five-wicket hauls. While Ishant Sharma took 97 Tests to reach this mark, Zaheer Khan did it in 92 Tests. Both of them share the second position.

The lanky pacer, who has taken 297 wickets in 97 Tests so far, is just three wickets away from entering an exclusive club for Indian pacers which only comprises of Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan. The club is of pacers with more than 300 wickets for India. Kapil Dev has 434 wickets and Zaheer Khan has 311 wickets in Tests for India. With his ankle injury, Ishant's inclusion in the list is likely to be delayed.

Ishant also managed to reach the third position in the list of bowlers with most five-wicket hauls in away Tests. He surpassed Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Zaheer Khan to enter the list. Kapil Dev tops that list with 12, followed by Anil Kumble with 10. Ishant takes the third position, with 9 five-wicket hauls. Chandrasekhar and Zaheer share the fourth position with 8 five-wicket hauls.

The upcoming second Test between India and New Zealand will start from February 29 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch. With the Kiwis having the upper hand in the two match series, India will look forward to bouncing back in the game and level the series.

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