Trent Bridge, July 30: Unlike the biblical Samson who lost his incredible strength after his long hair was sheared off, Indian paceman Ishant Sharma doesn't seem to have compromised his wicket-taking prowess after undergoing a hair-cut. On Day 1 of the second Test, Ishant raised eyebrows by swapping his unruly long locks for a more clean-cut look.
Theorists may be inclined to attribute this new avatar to Ishant's successes on a day when India bowled out England for 221 with the 6"5' bowler snaring 3/66. After taking a mediocre 4/165 in the Lord's Test which preceded this encounter, he is a markedly more fluid bowler. So, no surprises if his shortened hair has made him more streamlined.
Some may prefer to argue that his scalp-taking ability is temporary condition. But with 7 wickets already in the kitty in India's ongoing Test tour of England, Ishant is a markedly more confident speedster and one who seems poised to prolong his consistency.
Perhaps he has taken a leaf out of former Australia fast-bowler Jason Gillespie's book. After all, the Aussie paceman saw his fortunes swing after he chopped off his pony tail. Why, for that matter Indian captain M S Dhoni himself saw his star rise after he dispensed with his hirsute look.
Perhaps Ishant needed to rediscover the beast in himself when he looked into the mirror. So he just had a hair-cut and there he was!