Ishant Sharma: Whenever Kohli is batting, we feel very confident

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane thwarted Australia's hopes of making inroads into the Indian line-up and pace spearhead Ishant Sharma lauded the duo's effort on day two of the second India vs Australia Test.

Ishant believed that the pitch has something in it for the bowlers.   -  ap

There was a bit of reverse swing during Ishant Sharma’s press conference. A scribe raised a question in Hindi, specific to his no-ball issues.

The spearhead laconically smiled, cleared his throat, looked at a section of the assembled correspondents, and replied in English: “Maybe the Australian media should answer the question. Not me. I have been in cricket for so long. These things happen. Because you are a human, you are bound to make a mistake. I was not worried.”

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Ishant’s ploy worked and subsequently the Australian journalists, currently obsessed with where his foot lands on the bowling crease, discarded their pet project.

The fast bowler then moved to the state of the second Test and also dwelt upon the pitch’s attributes. Asked about the forgettable first session on day one, Ishant explained: “The wicket was really slow at that time. It wasn’t as up and down as it was after lunch when there was something for the bowlers. The first hour was the best time to bat on at that wicket.”

Ishant believed that the pitch has something in it for the bowlers: “When we were bowling, if you hit the length, there was something on the wicket.  You can’t say there was nothing. Yes, we did give away too many runs, but on this kind of wicket, if you are consistent for long enough, you will get wickets.”

Rahane, Kohli hold the key

He also hung his hopes around the captain and Delhi-mate Virat Kohli: “Whenever he is batting, we feel very confident. We finished the day in a strong position. Hopefully, they (Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane) will both continue. The game is in the balance right now.”

Being the senior in the pace-pack, Ishant was goaded to share his appraisal on Jasprit Bumrah, and he said: “When he made his debut he had already improved. That is why he was picked. The good thing about Bhum (Bumrah) is that he gives his heart out and you only need to support him. He was bowling at 140 kmph, every single time. He never gives up, which is the best sign for any fast bowler.”

Ishant also lauded Rahane’s batting: “Jinx (Rahane) added a quick-fire 20 to 30 runs. They were needed at that time. If he had played defensively, Australia would have stayed with their plans. It was important for Jinx to counter-attack and force them to change their plans.”