Roseau, July 8: Ishant Sharma has signaled a rejuvenation to his bowling after a series of dismal seasons. In this tour of the Caribbean, he may be leading a so-called second-string Indian attack, but that hasn't deterred him from shining through himself. 10 wickets was his glowing contribution at Bridge Town, Barbados and now at Dominica, he has garnered another five-for and counting.
On Day 1 of the current Test, Ishant may have been a tad lucky in dismissing Adrian Barath and Kirk Edwards. The former batsman's shabby attempt at pulling a slower leg-side bouncer from Ishant wound up with him gloving the ball onto his off-stump. A few overs later, Edwards tried to hook another bouncer from the bowler which instead snicked his helmet on it's way through to the keeper, foxing the umpire into thinking it had picked up the bat's edge.
But there was nothing suspect, deficient or fortuitous about the manner in which Ishant picked up his next three scalps on Day 2. He was able to accomplish just what Windies pace-bowling legend Curtly Ambrose said his present compatriot bowlers had forgotten to do: intimidate the batsmen. He softened up a resilient Darren Bravo with a few bouncers and then threw in an angled in-swinger which kissed the batsman's edge through to the keeper.
Then Ishant prevented the tail from wagging. He kept bowling short-pitched stuff to befuddle the latter-order batsmen. Fidel Edwards rather than wisely trying to get behind the line of the ball, merely tried to swat Ishant to the boundary. Result: the batsman mistimed his swipe and got an under-edge which fell back onto his stumps. The last batsman was also ill-equipped to handle Ishant's short-pitched bowling. Devendra Bishoo merely tried to fend at a astutely pitched up ball and ended up playing it onto his stumps as well. Ishant had got five! End of story.