Tag Archives: ishant sharma

LOL is Ishant Sharma’s middle name: The Ishant Sharma story

“LOL is Ishant Sharma’s middle name.”

Bangalore, 2007. India have made 626. Pakistan are 96 overs into their innings and every batsman has made a double-figure score. There have already been three hundreds and a double-hundred. A teen, more like a young boy, with more hair than any human needs and an extremely prominent Adam’s apple, comes on to bowl.

A ball from a good length jumps up and makes Faisal Iqbal’s forward defence look idiotic. It flies off the gloves to a deepish short leg. It is one of five wickets in the innings for a 19-year old bowling on the many remains of deceased seamers who went before him.

India had found their missing link.

“Ishant Sharma is God’s answer to BCCI’s wrongdoings.”

‘Why does Ishant Sharma keep getting picked?’ It’s one of the most asked questions to people who have just admitted they are cricket journalists. You cannot escape that when you have played over 50 Tests and average more than 35. The current Australian team might be number one, but mainstays and recent sensations Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson have been at times the most abused victims of their fans.

Indian fans, when they were taking a break from abusing Rohit Sharma, would whip the Ishant boy all over social media. Tall for nothing. Over-rated. Slow. Can’t keep his foot behind the line. Can’t move the ball away from right-handers. Falls apart under pressure. Google suggests Ishant-Sharma jokes as its third search suggestion.

It’s also not a shock to see why he is still around. He’s tall. He’s fast. He gets natural movement. He can reverse swing the ball. They don’t grow on trees in India, or really, anywhere. If he uses all these things right, he’s a match-winner. He’s also a match loser. Ishant isn’t as fast as Johnson, or as tall as Morne Morkel. On a bad day, he is a fast-medium bowler with a no-ball problem and average control. Potential is a powerful aphrodisiac.

“Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma.”

A typical good Ishant delivery is angled in at the right-hander. The good ones swing further in and carry above the stumps to the keeper with a bit of heat on it. Akmal missed one such delivery like this. And Ishant decided to tell him about it. Loudly.

The scene looks bad because Ishant is screaming over Akmal, who is about a foot and three inches of hair shorter. Not to mention sledging a guy with an ODI batting average of 26 is like picking on the kid who isn’t allowed to use scissors in class. Ishant has to be removed from the situation.

Against Australia, Ishant decided to sledge David Warner at the WACA during the innings where Warner swung and connected with India’s head. Warner came back with verbal aggression and they had to be separated. But not before Warner said, “You’re kidding yourself, you are a bad bowler”.

A short poor ball from Ishant is cut by Root. India are sure it is out. Ishant is more sure. He’s surer than sure. He stands a few feet from Root and discusses it with him. And discusses it. And discusses. Eventually the two have to be removed. Replays show Ishant may not have been right. Although I doubt any replay could have changed his mind.

It’s not even just small aggressive batsmen that Ishant likes. During a piece of glacier-like fielding from Zaheer Khan, Ishant used a term that suggested an incestuous relationship after watching the ageing seamer allow an extra run.

Ishant has the anger.

“There are good bowlers, and there are poor bowlers. Then there’s 500 feet of crap, and then there’s Ishant Sharma.”

Australia need 44 from 18.

47.1 A wide half-volley. Four.
47.2 A short ball. Six.
47.3 A straight half-volley. Six.
47.4 A short ball. Two.
47.5 A short ball. Six.

“47.6 I Sharma to Faulkner, SIX, SIX MORE, what on earth? Ishant Sharma had his critics before this game, there aren’t going to be many people backing him after this, short once more, another pull, right off the middle off the bat, and that sails into the crowd once more, crowd not sure whether to be gobsmacked by this hitting from Faulkner or be thrilled by this sensational turnaround, that’s Faulkner’s 50 as well”

Australia win with three balls to spare.

“Dear single guys, if a girl gives you as many chances as Dhoni has given Ishant Sharma, marry her.”

Ishant’s last Test started with him cutting down New Zealand’s top order. He bowled quick. The ball moved. And Ishant took 6 for 51. There were sexy short balls and tricky straight balls. It was lovely and New Zealand had no answer to it. It was the sort of performance that should have justified the selectors faith in him.

The next innings in the same game, Ishant bowled 45 overs, took no wickets and went for 164 runs. It doesn’t seem to matter how good or bad Ishant is, Ishant remains.

“Dhoni isn’t India’s greatest finisher, Ishant Sharma is.”

The 50th over at Trent Bridge started with a no-ball. Ishant bowls a lot of no balls. Ishant is known for no balls. Then Ishant bowled a fast, reverse-swinging ball that tailed in and smashed into Sam Robson’s pads. Ishant does bowl reverse-swinging balls that tail in and smash into pads. Ishant is known for reverse-swinging balls that tail in and smash into pads. Ishant aggressively sent off Robson. Ishant often does aggressive send-offs. Ishant is known for aggressive send-offs. Ishant then bowled a short, slow long-hop that Ian Bell smacked for four. Ishant bowls a lot of short, slow long-hops that get smacked for four. Ishant is known for short, slow long-hops that get smacked for four. Ishant bowls a ball drifting down leg side. Ishant bowls a lot of balls drifting down leg side. Ishant is known for drifting the ball down the leg side.

That was one over. That was Ishant’s career.

“It was Ishant Sharma’s stunning form that made MS Dhoni take up bowling”.

A highlight package of Ishant’s best work looks as good as anything. Balls flying off a length. Quick swinging balls. Fast short balls. The hair, the necklace, the stare, the aggression. This is a fast bowler; you can smell it through the screen.

Ishant’s best delivery is a short of a length ball that angles in, tails further in and bounces quite well to the keeper. It’s a sexy ball, but it’s not that likely to get you out. An edge will probably be an inside edge that flies past the keeper. His height means the ball goes over the stumps. It’s essentially a theatre ball for people to “oh” and “ah” about. In the end, it’s a tragedy delivery. It’s the unlucky Ishant ball.

Ishant was once clocked at 152kph, but his wrist doesn’t stay behind the ball like it did that summer. Sometimes his head falls away as well. If you can get the ball to reverse in, you should also have the attributes to conventionally swing the ball out. Somehow Ishant doesn’t. He’s flawed. And he’s a rhythm bowler, which is often code for – he can be good, or really rubbish.

“RT if you can bowl better than Ishant Sharma!”

Australians have a different view of Ishant. They saw the young kid on his first tour bowl very good, and on occasion, very quick. This is despite the fact he only averages 44 against Australia, has an average of 73 in Australia and only has a best of 3 for 115 in Australia. It’s because of how many times Ishant dismissed Ricky Ponting.

In 2008, Ishant took Ponting’s wicket five times in Tests. Five times. Ishant had the pace and bounce, and when combined with a bowler who naturally moved the ball in, it was something Ponting never did well against. Here was a teenager doing it. Over, and over, and over again.

Somehow this guy had made a master look like an awkward teen. They had switched places. It wasn’t just the wickets that he took, but how silly Ponting looked in them. His bat splayed weirdly. His balance leaving him. He was always late. He was always trying to survive. At the other end he would be Ponting, at Ishant’s end he was the soon-to-be-massacred bunny.

Ponting eventually overcame it, and was only ever dismissed twice more in Tests by Ishant. By then though, the bunny stuff had stuck. And so it should. How many bowlers in Ponting’s career dominated him for a minute, let alone a year?

If you couldn’t get excited with Ishant at that stage, you were really fighting against basic human instincts.

“Newton’s third law modified: For every N Srinivasan, there is an equal and opposite Ishant Sharma.”

In the tour game in Leicestershire before Trent Bridge, Ishant conceded 64 runs in nine overs. He took two wickets, but even his mother would find it hard to justify that spell. It was made worse by the fact that his team-mates never took any of the Leicestershire players for more than five an over.

Today, in his last seven overs, Ishant took five wickets for 27 runs. He did it with five short balls. He did it with pace. He did it with energy. He did it with passion. He did it with all his flaws. He did it.

He will forever be the bowler who bowled India to victory at Lord’s.

If you allow me to walk you through the third wall for a moment, you may notice that there are some “jokes” in quotations throughout this piece. When you google Ishant Sharma, ‘Ishant Sharma jokes’ is the third result. There are many, many, many websites with lists of these jokes. There is much history to make fun of. Little of it can be realistically defended.

Ishant’s age at the moment is 25. Ishant is much maligned. Ishant is unlucky. Ishant is a bad bowler. Ishant is a 25-year old Indian quick who just took 7 for 74 at Lord’s to win a Test.

Today the joke was on England.

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Bowden’s late no ball call in pictures

“Very interesting call that one.  The thing is we’re not out there, it’s a very quick motion of that front leg going through”.

Some aussie commentator on Nimbus.

While the foot going through the crease was quick, Billy’s decision was not.

Let’s look at what we know.

Sharma hit Kaitch what looked like inline with the stumps.

Billy seemed to be contemplating the decision or giving no decision or call whatsoever.

Then Billy signalled the no ball.

The no ball call was shown to be incorrect.

The LBW was not out according to hawkeye.

This is the ball hitting the pad at 3:04.

At 3:06 Billy still doesn’t have his arm out and Sharma is looking straight at him still appealing.

At 3:07 Ishant gets a close up.

In the last frames of 3:07 Nimbus show us Billy’s arm.

This is far from conclusive evidence.

And it also may not prove anything other than a no ball was called incorrectly very late.

But, it should be looked into.  Isn’t that what Chris Broad is paid to do.

If you watch the full video there is no audible no ball call that I can hear. Although I am almost deaf from turning this up as loud as I could and watching it a bunch of times.

In fact, when watching the video, it looks like he says either no ball or not out as the shot of his arm is showing, which is 3 to 4 seconds after the ball hits Katich.

Nimbus cutting to Sharma robs us of the exact time Billy’s arm went out, but it seems weird that you would wait at least the 2 seconds before calling a no ball.

Add to that the fact that Shamra’s foot landed comfortably behind the line and you have to wonder…

Was this a late call because Billy got caught up in the game.


Did he panic and call a no ball because he didn’t want to give a decision.


Billy just randomly makes gestures hoping people laugh.

Ms Dhoni didn’t seem to be laughing when chatting to Billy at the end of the over.

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balls profile: Ishant Sharma

No cricketer has ever relied so heavily on their adam’s apple. Tall, skinny and odd looking, this young guy came along to wow the international world with his love for Jason Gillespie and his ability to bring out the wrong batting gloves. When on fire can bowl very full, swing the ball and get steepling bounce, when bowling badly he resembles someone running barefoot on ice throwing cream pies. Early on he tormented Ricky Ponting, but since then has mostly tormented Indian fans who can’t work out why he isn’t any better than he was 3 years ago. Has perhaps the most gormless face in modern cricket,

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The Ultimate IPL Guide: Kolkata Knight Riders

Vacuous Sex Symbol

Porn Star: Brendan McCullum

Prince Brendan might be the reason that the IPL was successful. His first innings set the bastard alight. Cameras like him too.

Pole Dancer: David Hussey

88 off 44 against South Africa is a pretty good warm up. Still one of the premier batsmen in world 2020, but needs to step up for Kolkatta.

Boy Next Door: Ishant Sharma

The Giant Adams Apple from India hasn’t quite lived up to his hype yet, but will love to bowl on the quick wickets in South Africa.

Model: Sourav Ganguly

Struggled for runs last tournament, isn’t captain, and might prove to be a distraction to his team. Usually doesn’t like to be anybody other than the main man.

Home made/Amateur: Mashrafe Mortaza

The Bangladeshi bagman can slap the bowl and hurl it down fast.

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Myths & Facts from India’s jaunt to New Zealand

Sportsfreak takes a look through the series.

So the Indians will be boarding their jumbo about now, and for the final piece of excitement will be undergoing a take-off into a Wellington gale. Their fans will be cleaning their whiteboards in preparation for more normal use, and the rest of us look back on our brief time in the same playground as the big boys.

Obviously, there was going to be a lot of hype surrounding this tour; after all the test batting line-up boasted something like 107 test centuries before the series started, and constantly added to that over the last 3 weeks.

And we got to see first hand the likes of Tendulkar and Dravid for the last time, and Dhoni and Ishant for the first time, and were able to notice the difference in attitude and swagger between the two.

So we look at some of the theories that were floated before and during the series and see if they are fact or some hybrid of Indian Myth and Lord of the Rings special effects.

Tests in NZ in April do not work
Myth actually.

People will point to the fact that the April test ended with rain, but that only kicked in with 3 hours left in the match; that’s not bad for New Zealand. April, comparatively, is reasonably reliable.

And the tests were certainly less affected than the ODIs in February/ March.

Light was clearly an issue after the daylight saving change, but that was more of a management issue.

Dhoni is an attacking captain
Well some of his bowling changes are inspirational, and no more so than bringing Tendulkar on during the last day at the Basin.

But that declaration in the same test can always be held up as the perfect example that he can be as cautious as a shell-shocked Ponting.

He lets Harbhajan talk him into defensive field placings too.

Ryder is too fat for test cricket
Ha ha. Myth. A big fat myth too Adam.

He does have a weakness against top quality spin early on, but he’ll sort that out soon.

Yuvraj is rubbish outside of the Sub-continent
Absolute fact.

He was miserable here, apart from a couple of meagre cameos with the pressure off.

And remember this was on placid pitches against an ordinary attack.

Ishant Sharma is the Real Deal and the Final Product
Not yet he’s not. Despite what last year promised.

He had one good spell in Hamilton, and then roughed up Vettori at the Basin.

But in between times he looked more sulky than anything else. He perfected the act of hiding in the outfield in Napier when things got tricky, and he certainly didn’t seem to take to the Wellington wind.

Totally outplayed by the underrated Zaheer all series.

McCullum isn’t the batsman he was a year ago

That was probably his most consistent series as a test batsman. A shocking dismissal in the first innings in Hamilton was followed by composed knocks afterwards. His maturity in batting with O’Brien in the second innings of that match was class, and he held his head well in Napier.

At the Basin he got stuck with O’Brien again, and was sawn off in the second innings. Will probably be tried at #6 in the near future, which is about the only spot in the order where he has not been used yet.

Superb keeping too.

Taylor needs time to adjust from ODIs to tests.
Fact. Fact. Fact. Contrast the push across the line on the first morning in Hamilton with the 2nd innings resistance at the Basin.

Imagine what he could do in a 5 test series.

Harbhajan is a wind-up artist
True. And a very good one at that.

He didn’t get under the skin of the New Zealanders like he did with the Australians last year, but he sure wound the commentators up.

Note how he does well in the questionable umpiring decision stakes too. Not a coincidence.

Sehwag plays all forms of the game in exactly the same way
Myth. He bats for longer in T20s and ODIs.

Vettori is not the test bowler he used to be
Fact. And a pretty old fact at that.

If you want proof, get a video of him bowling on the 4th morning in the Basin, and then watch Tendulkar bowl 24 hours later.

It’s toe-curling stuff, and it’s even worse to hear certain radio commentators air the myth that he is a world-class spinner.

The World will miss Tendulkar

Sad but true.

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To fix or not to fix?

New Zealand has seen the destructive power of India with the bat, and they are scared.

Green and Low? Sportsfreak talks about the sort of wickets the kiwis are brought up on.

Much debate over the last few days as to whether New Zealand should pull the 2002 card out from under the bottom of the pack, and produce pitches that are going to favour the home side, or at very least make it a lottery.

Today, we put forwards the case for doctoring.

The kind of doctoring

We are not talking about a traditional WACA or Sabina Park green-top here.

Someone might die, and that is hardly playing into the hands of a seam attack with an average pace of around 130kph.

What we are talking about is the kind of pitch offered up for the 1992 World Cup.

Plenty of weird and wonderful random sideways movement, minimal bounce, and even less pace. Just like we got at Eden Park on Saturday.

Will flat tracks work?

No they won’t.

India showed during the ODI series that this New Zealand attack poses no threats on batting friendly pitches.

It wasn’t just Sehwag either. All of them, including the 4 who played in domestic cricket (making about 8 of them) showed that these TV-friendly new age NZ pitches with their lack of sideways movement and perfect bounce are just like a favourite IPL pitch.

Vettori offers his subtleties to add some variation, but the rest of the “attack” picked for Hamilton need help badly.

Mind Games

Most of the Indian top order were here last time. As soon as a ball jags a bit those demons and memories will start coming back. Seaming tracks are at their most dangerous when you’re scared of them.

Brent Arnel

Why pick him if you’re not going to water the pitch?

Short tests are fun

Lets face it, the 2002 Indian series was memorable. Too much test cricket these days is played on batting friendly roads that provides a tedious mismatch between bat and ball.

The recent West Indies v England series had a couple of tense finishes, but in between that there was a lot of tedium of Strauss and Chanderpaul nudging their way to hig scores.

But England getting bowled out for 51 was fun. Really fun.

Ishant Sharma

Adam’s Apple’s hype is based around 2 things. The counterbalance of throat and mullet, and the serious working over of the then world’s best batsman at Perth last year.

That Perth pitch was one of the great ones. Fast, bouncy, and pretty true. But Sharma was able to extract every bit of venom out of it, and use his class and height to utilise a very good pitch.

Why would we want to let him do that again?

Keep it low and slow and he’s taken out of the match.

We might also get to see some more of last Saturday’s theatrics.

Daniel Flynn

Flynn is gutsy and has a pretty good technique. But we have seen that when it gets up from a length he tends to eat it.

Put him in on a slow seamer and he’s got the technique when rocking onto the front foot to know when to leave, and when to play.

He is better placed to handle this than most out there.

Jacob Oram

It is hard to know what might one day motivate Oram to play test cricket again. But the sight of the ball doing strange things when bowled gently might be the one thing that could do it.

Iain O’Brien’s Blog

We’re sick of all those Indian schoolkids gloating over there.

Because we can

Call it regaining some sovereignty.

Next: A much shorter analysis of why we shouldn’t.

Visit Sportsfreak; they pull out of less tests than Jacob Oram.

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the adams apple vs the bulge

Ishant Sharma is one hell of a talent.

The height, the pace, the movement and the physical abnormity.

It’s all there.

And he knows it.

Nothing wrong with confidence, but Sharma seems to have an inflated theory of where he is right now.

Right now he is still more than hittable.

One day, that may not be the case.

Jesse Ryder on the over hand is just over inflated.

Few would doubt his talent, but his commitment, and dietary habits have been questioned.

More than thrice.

But the dude is just down to earth.

He has an amazing calmness about him.

These two personalities met at Eden Park.

The prince of fast bowling and the fat dude who can bat.

It was an interesting show down.

Sharma was sledging Jesse even after Jesse had put him into the stands.

The rage from Sharma seemed to be over someone having the audacity to treat him that way, and the fact that Jesse seemed to shrug his shoulders while asking Sharma what his problem was didn’t seem to ease the tension.

My nan had a theory that anytime sportsmen got really fired up (Sharma was fuming) it was over a woman, you’d have to doubt these two fight over the same women.

Sharma to Jesse provided 32 runs off 18 balls, one dropped catch, before Jesse eventually played on.

It was street fight out on the pitch, Sharma throwing it all at Jesse, and Jesse putting most of it to, or over, the rope.

Sharma just didn’t seem to be able to handle it.

It reeked of class difference, the level headed working class kid who knew his stuff, up against the rich kid who couldn’t believe anyone was treating him way.

It was like an after school special teen film about cricket.

Except good to watch.

And this was a dead one day game.

Can’t wait to see Sharma flying in to Jesse in a live test match.

Remember to support the balls in the Ashes charity match spectacular.

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Oh, God

They gave him hair.

God doesn’t need hair.

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Sharma a speed demon

I once asked how India will ruin Ishant Sharma.

He may not be ruined yet, but he has been slowed down by bling.

Sharma, and his adam’s apple, were obviously allergic to attention, gold, cocaine or Ganguly’s captaincy.

In 13 games he managed 7 wickets, and never once took more than one.

For those who believe wickets mean nothing and economy rate is king in t20, he couldn’t slip himself into the top 30 list for that.

This was the same man who bowled in Australia like he was some unco Indian zombie version of demon fred spofforth.

But in the IPL, while he bowled some good spells, he was mostly just another bowler.

A guy like Gony, who was until recent time a nobody, is now a somebody, because as Flemmo puts it, he bowls a heavy ball.

He may not jumped ahead of Sharma, but he has certainly put his name on someones clip board.

Sharma is not done with yet.

He has just been initiated in the world of sports, ie: cocaine.

With Ahktar and Bollywood all over him I’m sure he was exposed to things he had only heard friends talk about before.

Like orgies and other fun stuff.

White powder never slowed down the great Pakistani quicks.

Well since it was coke, it probably didn’t hurt with their confidence

So in conclusion, Sharma needs less golden helmets, and more or less coke.


The worlds 5 most important cricketers

The cricket world is changing, and with that in mind I decided on a list of the players who will shape the next ten years of cricket.

They may not be the best players, or even in the role I think they should be, but they are the ones that will have the most impact on world cricket.

Episode 1 – RP Singh/Ishant Sharma

Ok I cheated all ready and this is the first post, but for the purposes of world cricket this applies to them as a team.

Let me break it down for you.

Batsman set up games, and draw games.

Bowlers win games.

Opening batsman provide the platform.

Opening bowlers try to burn the platform and kill anyone who ever set foot on it.

Over the years India has had every part of a side except arsonistic fast bowlers.

India have produced quite a few champion spinners. Behind them have been quite a few very good spinners.

They have also uncovered an ass full of smokin’ batsman.

Somewhere along the line they even had a bowling all rounder with an outstanding mullet and figures to match.

What they have never produced is a quick bowling team that can destroy batsman anywhere anytime.

Welcome RP Singh and Ishant Sharma.

Their great spinners are brilliant at home and serviceable on the road.

Their batsman are “add your own superlative here” at home, and produce well on the road.

Two quicks win matches.

If you defeat the top order, no matter how good the middle order is, you are setting yourself up for a victory.

Teams don’t win many series when their top 3 all average under 40.

RP Singh and Ishant Sharma are the men who can do that.

RP on his day can make the ball curve like Angelina Jolie in a tight dress.

You can’t take your eyes off it, but you know you can’t have it either.

Ishant Sharma is simply unplayable when he gets it right.

He is the most promising teenage bowler since Waqar pretended to be a teenager.

They are what India has always been missing.

India has always been known as soft on the road, but they have missed what you need to win on the road, they usually have one decent quick, one decent spinner, and a lot of guys who play good cricket on home wickets.

Australia didn’t dominate cricket because of Shane Warne, Murali has proved this, they did it because McGrath, McDermott, Hughes, Fleming, Gillespie and who ever fronted up with the new ball took wickets.

Warne was the pop, the others were the snap and crackle.

India now has a properly balanced cricket team.

RP Singh has proved himself in England and Australia.

Ishant debuted on the toughest tour in the world.

They are both young, hungry and talented, and India has never needed two men as much as it needs these two.

“Ishant, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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