Ishant Sharma’s exclusion from the Indian Test team has become evident, but his contributions to the nation’s cricket will be remembered for years. After receiving guidance from the renowned Zaheer Khan, the Delhi-born fast bowler emerged as the leader of India’s Test bowling attack for a significant period, until the emergence of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the red-ball format.
The trio of Ishant, Shami, and Bumrah showcased their prowess by dismantling oppositions in away Test matches, allowing India to secure victories by taking 20 wickets. Throughout this phase, Virat Kohli played a pivotal role as the team’s captain. Diverging from his predecessors who heavily relied on spin-oriented strategies, Kohli displayed a preference for pace and encouraged his fast bowlers to showcase their skills, even if it meant conceding some runs.
Kohli and Ishant have known each other since their U-17 days, and in a recent interview, the right-arm pacer revealed details about their initial interaction, shedding light on their longstanding connection that dates back to their days as teammates in the U-19 World Cup-winning squad.
Nobody thought I’ll play for India one day: Ishant
“I first met him during Delhi U-17 trials. I remember wearing a small lower. He had already played India U-19 so I had heard his name a lot. Everyone used to call him ‘Viru’ back then. Our match was at the West Delhi Cricket Academy and he absolutely hammered me. The wicket was flat as a road in Najafgarh,”
“I somehow got selected for the U-17 trials. I met him in person there. He jokingly told me ‘bhai lower to lele apne size ka (buy a lower of your size)’. I was very shy back then and didn’t know how to interact with others. I didn’t know how big it was to play Delhi U-17. My father always said at least try to get into Ranji Trophy so that you can get a government job. Nobody had thought that I would play India one day,”
he further added.
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