Simons praises Ishant, says paceman was 'unlucky'

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Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 12:06 [IST]
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Simons praises young paceman Ishant

Brisbane, Feb 18: India's bowling coach Eric Simons has said he was not sacked by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and feels young paceman Ishant Sharma should have been in the One Day team for the tri-series in Australia.

Also read: Has Eric Simons been made the scapegoat?

The South African was recently removed as the bowling coach and was replaced with Australian Joe Dawes. He will be with the Indian team till the end of the tri-series.

However, in his first interaction with the media since the BCCI took that decision, Simons explained that his contract was not renewed after getting two extensions since the victorious World Cup assignment.

Coach Gary Kirsten and Simons formed a good combination to steer Indian team to the ultimate glory in 50-over cricket last year.

However, since then India's bowlers are failing in Tests which might have prompted BCCI to look for another person.
Simons had high praise for Ishant Sharma and he felt Australians were pleased to see him not in the tri-series.

"I believe the Australians were pleased he (Ishant) wasn't involved in one-day series. He bowled so well, he was the one who troubled them the most in Tests. I am not part of selection process but I think he's ready for one-day cricket," said Simons.

A regular in Test team, Ishant has been in and out of the ODI squad. He has played only six ODIs in the last two years.Ishant, in 47 ODIs, has taken 64 wickets at 32.13.

"He has to be one of the unluckiest bowlers. There were so many edges which went between (VVS) Laxman and (MS) Dhoni, a drop in front; one sliced over slips for the amount of wicket-taking deliveries he bowled.

"I hope he is not discouraged and Indian cricket sticks with him. There is an incredible cricketer and a clever bowler in him," said Simons about Ishant, who has claimed 133 wickets at 37.87 in 45 Tests.

"I saw him in the first series with South Africa. In Kolkata he bowled brilliantly but didn't get rewards. And I could see the frustration he had. He is like Morne Morkel (of South Africa), who bowls well but doesn't take wickets as we would expect him to do."

"We did the maths and found the length in Australia was a good 16-18 inches fuller than he used to bowl. We did work on it to get that length right. It's not always easy. He's so tall and has a different trajectory. It's a long process and learning curve for a young bowler," he said.

"He was once bowling in 130-133kmph and now his average is 140-plus. As an attack, we were actually averaging more than Australians and it's quite unusual for Indian attack," he added.


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