Wellington, Feb 14: After taking his career-best haul in Tests, Indian medium-pacer Ishant Sharma today said that he has been bowling well consistently for some time but his performance was being noticed only now because he is among wickets these days.
Ishant took 6-51 on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand, his second consecutive six-wicket haul in this series, after taking 6-134 in the first innings at Auckland. He went on to take nine wickets in that match, which India lost by 40 runs.
"I am the same bowler who bowled against (Ricky) Ponting in 2007-08 and the same bowler who was man-of-the-series in 2011. I am the same bowler. This pitch is the same as last match. I don't analyse my bowling a lot, because at this stage, ahead of the game it is only about mental thinking," said Ishant, after his superb bowling effort.
When asked, if playing 70-odd ODIs and 55 Tests had helped make him a better bowler, he replied, "You only learn from experience. I have seen enough ups and downs in my life. Whenever there is an important tour, I get dropped. Whenever there is an easy tour, I am in the team. It's a really hard thing for me."
"I have been bowling well since South Africa. It is just that people are recognising more now, because I am taking more wickets. I didn't do anything different. Just looked to bowl in the right areas, in fact we all did, we all bowled very well. Only (Mohammad) Shami and I got the rewards. Zaheer (Khan) was very unlucky to not take any wickets," he added.
Shami took 4-70 to provide able support to the one-change bowler and together they routed New Zealand for a paltry score of 192 runs in their first innings. This was after skipper MS Dhoni won his seventh straight toss on the tour and elected to bowl first on a very green wicket.