Roseau, July 8, India pacer Ishant Sharma has thanked teammate Gautam Gambhir for supporting him during his difficult times and said the left-handed batsman motivated him to make a strong comeback into the national side.
Ishant, who is the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing Test series against the West Indies with 18 scalps, said Gambhir always stood beside him during his lean patch that saw the lanky pacer lose his place in the Indian team.
"I would like to thank Gautam (Gambhir) bhaiya. He had great belief in me. When I was down I would speak to him, and he would tell me that I would make a comeback and do really well. A senior player like him was supporting me and telling me I should not lose hope in myself," he said.
"When you are bowling well, everyone praises you. It matters what people are saying when you aren''t doing well. I am really grateful to Gautam bhaiya," Ishant told ''ESPNCricinfo''.
The 22-year-old paceman revealed that he lost his form while trying to emulate his senior pace colleague Zaheer Khan.
Ishant said he started copying Zaheer in 2008 when South Africa toured India.
"I was trying to copy Zaheer Khan's action. No doubt he is a great bowler, but I guess I shouldn''t have tried to copy his action. We are entirely different in styles. Zaheer told me that I am too much into the technical side of things and that I shouldn''t be," he said.
"When South Africa came to play in India, I started to copy him. I wanted to be a swing bowler. I was forgetting my natural strength of bounce and hitting the deck. When I bowl with my natural style, the ball automatically starts to inswing. That was my strong point, and I should have just stuck to that. That was my greatest mistake," Ishant recalled.