With only four wickets, Ishant is struggling

Written by: Aprameya .C
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012, 14:12 [IST]
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Struggling Ishant needs wickets

With the focus firmly on India's failing batsmen in Australia, the poor performance of paceman Ishant Sharma has gone unnoticed. The youngster has been unimpressive in three Tests and has only four wickets to show. His form is another worry for Team India ahead of the fourth and final Test in Adelaide.

While Zaheer Khan has shouldered the responsibility of leading the pace attack, rookie fast bowler Umesh Yadav has proved his worth with speed and wickets. However, being the second most experienced in the line-up after Zaheer, Ishant has failed to deliver in the three Tests so far.

Four years ago, when a 20-year-old Ishant arrived Down Under, he made a big name for himself with a brilliant spell of bowling against the then Australian skipper Ricky Ponting in Perth. India, under Anil Kumble's captaincy, went on to win that Test in 2008.

Now, in the present tour, Ishant is far away from replicating that performance. While Umesh is grabbing the headlines, Ishant seems to have lost out.

Zaheer Khan and Umesh have shared 24 wickets with 12 apiece. Ishant, however, has only four scalps to show.

Ishant's four wickets have come at 81 runs per dismissal in 87.3 overs spread over four innings, conceding 324 runs. The Delhi seamer's strike rate is a dismal 131.2. With nine maidens and an economy rate of 3.70, it is time for Ishant to make amends in the Adelaide Test from January 24.

With the series already lost 0-3 and on the brink of their second whitewash in a row abroad, Indian bowlers, like the batters, have to come good in Adelaide.

The Adealide Oval pitch, considered to be the best in Australia for the batsmen, might make Indian bowlers' task even harder.

Ishant's best so far on the tour was in Melbourne where he claimed two wickets for 43 runs in 12.3 overs. In the two innings defeats of Sydney and Perth he managed a scalp each in two different innings.

Apart from his struggles on the field, Ishant was also involved in an ugly incident in Perth where he was photographed making an obscene gesture towards few fans.

With 132 wickets in 44 Tests, the 23-year-old has the talent to bounce back. He is not part of the Twenty20 and One-Day squads in Australia and the lanky speedster should run in hard and add few more wickets to correct those unimpressive stats.


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