New Delhi, Feb 26: Axed from India's limited overs squads, pace spearhead Ishant Sharma has excused himself from Delhi's first two Vijay Hazare Trophy (North Zone one dayers) matches citing fatigue after having bowled a lot of overs during the recently concluded Test series in New Zealand.
Delhi will open their campaign against Jammu and Kashmir at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground on Thursday and will play the formidable Punjab side in their second game on March 1. Ishant will be missing both the matches.
"Ishant has just come back from New Zealand. He has bowled a lot of overs and had asked us for rest. That's why the team management has decided to give him rest for the first couple of games. That's why, he is not even training currently," Delhi's chief coach Sanjeev Sharma told PTI today.
Ishant has bowled 96 overs in two Test matches in New Zealand where he took 15 wickets including two six-wicket hauls. He was good in patches but overal very inconsistent.
He bowled 62 overs in the second Test including 45 overs of wicketless bowling in the second innings when Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling took the game away from India.
Asked whether Ishant will be available for Delhis third match against Himachal Pradesh, coach Sharma sounded positive.
"We expect him to play in the match against Himachal Pradesh," Sharma said about the bowler who has taken 164 wickets from 55 Test matches.
The other senior players like skipper Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Ashish Nehra however went through the paces as it will be the start of some serious match practice before IPL kicks off in another 6-7 weeks time.