Ashish Nehra highlights changes Ishant Sharma has made in his bowling over the last 2 years
As India and England are all set to lock horns in the historic pink-ball Test at the revamped Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, the contest is also a special one for seasoned Indian seamer Ishant Sharma – who will be playing his 100th Test match for Team India. Having made his debut way back in 2007, Ishant remains to be in good form for the Indian team and wishes having been pouring in from all corners for the lanky pacer who will become only the second Indian pacer after former Indian captain Kapil Dev to reach the milestone.Ahead of his 100th Test match, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra highlighted the changes Ishant has brought to his bowling in the last 2 years.“Earlier, he used to bowl only over the stumps, but still the ball was not going away nicely against left-handers or you can say when right-handers are batting coming in nicely. From the last 18 to 24 months, even around the stumps, forget over the stumps, the ball is going away nicely to the left-handed batsmen. This shows that he is thinking about his game, looking to add new things, and the results have gone in his favour. It’s a great thing for India!” Nehra said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.In the ongoing series against England, Ishant, who has 5 wickets under his belt in 2 matches, also reached the 300-wicket mark. Nehra went on to add that while Nehra has altered his length – which is one of the key aspects for bowlers in the five-day format.“Not only any Indian fast bowler, but any fast bowler playing 100 Test matches is a big achievement. When people talk about Ishant Sharma’s length, yes, he has altered his length, which is very important in Test cricket. Plus, he is the same old Ishant Sharma, the ball is coming into right-handers, which is really important for him, bowling around the stumps,” Nehra added. In a career that has witnessed plenty of ups and downs, Ishant has also struggled with injuries every now and then. He sustained an injury while playing for Delhi Capitals (DC) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 and was ruled out of the four-match Test series against Australia.On the eve of the pink-ball Test, Indian skipper Virat Kohli lauded Ishant’s commitment and lauded him for prioritising Test cricket over the other two formats."A lot of people even lose their motivation. He has the skills, if he wanted he could have improved his four-over, 10 over cricket and played in the IPL regularly, or presented himself in T20 and ODIs. But he gave his full commitment to Test cricket," Kohli said.Kohli and Ishant both played for Delhi and the Indian captain also shared an interesting anecdote from the time when Ishant got a maiden call-up for the Indian team."I have known Ishant for many years now. He started playing state cricket with me. From his first season onwards, we've been roommates for many years in state cricket and Ranji trophy cricket."When he got selected for India, he was fast asleep in the afternoon and I had to kick him off the bed to say that you have been selected and he wouldn't believe me. So, that's how far we go back.