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  • Birthday 12/12/1984

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  1. From a tyro to an old warhorse - Ishant's Perth return R Kaushik • Last updated on Wed, 12 Dec, 2018, 06:14 PM Share Tweet From being the tyro in a sea of virtuosos in 2008, Ishant Sharma is today the senior statesman of the bowling unit © Getty It was a blisteringly hot Saturday morning in Perth, the mercury flirting with the 40-degree Centigrade mark. It was a day when the public address system repeatedly urged spectators to help themselves liberally to the skin cream available free of charge at various vantage points. It was also a day when the stands were, paradoxically, packed at the iconic WACA ground, a day when India made historyby becoming the first Asian side to drive Australia to their knees at their fortress. It was the 19th day of January in 2008, the scheduled fourth day of the third Test of an acrimonious series that had almost been shelved at the halfway mark following Monkeygate, and the ugly resultant fallout. Australia had lorded the first two Tests at the MCG and the SCG, helped along by dollops of fortune and some of the worst umpiring ever in a single Test match, on conditions more sub-continental than home-bred. Perth, and the juicy WACA, lay in wait. "We beat you at your own game, we will school you at ours," was the understated threat when the teams assembled at the WACA, Australia already counting the gains of another home series win against a team rapidly becoming their closest competitors. It was the day when Ishant Sharma, then making just his fourth Test appearance, made the world sit up and take notice. He had already offered glimpses of his potential in the first innings with two for 34, but his association with Perth was solidified in the second, when he returned what on the face of it are largely unremarkable figures of one for 63 from 17 overs. In isolation, those numbers mean little. After all, Irfan Pathan finished with three for 54, and there were two wickets apiece for RP Singh, skipper Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag, as India stormed to an emotional 72-run victory on setting the hosts a target of 413. And yet, it was the one wicket Ishant snaffled, and the magnificence of the effort preceding the strike, that stood out that Saturday. That sweltering Saturday. Already in the first innings, Ishant had gobbled up Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, caught at third slip by Rahul Dravid. He had the skills and the nous to get the virtuoso once. Could he do it again in the same match? Less than 48 hours later? Yes, and yes, as it turned out. Australia resumed the fourth morning on 62 for two, with Ponting and Mike Hussey at the crease. Predictably, it didn't take long before Kumble turned to his teenaged tyro, and Ishant didn't disappoint his captain. For seven overs on the trot, Ishant made Ricky Ponting appear a pale shadow of his normally imperious self. His seam position was exemplary, and he reduced the Australian captain to a bundle of tightly stretched nerves with a severe working over, rapping him on the knuckles through extra bounce and forcing him to poke and prod outside off-stump with nervous feet and a pounding heart. For seven overs, Ishant bowled his heart out. Cricket, cruel cricket, doesn't always reward effort; a wicket remained elusive. It was no surprise that Ishant was crestfallen when Kumble prepared to rest him in the searing cauldron, with his thoroughbred seemingly on his last legs. Then, dramatically like in the movies, Virender Sehwag sprinted up to the captain's ear. Now, while Kumble's relationship was Ishant was no more than eight months long, Sehwag obviously knew his Delhi mate much more intimately. "Ponting strike pe hai, Ani bhai. Usko ek aur over do (Ponting is on strike, give him another over)," Sehwag told Kumble, the monologue captured by the sensitive stump microphone. Kumble, understandably sceptical, checked with Ishant, "Ek aur karega (will you do one more?)." "Haan, karunga (yes, I will)," was the high-pitched grate from the wiry lad. Nothing Ishant will ever do in Australia can match that nine-over spell of such sustained hostility and aggression on a cloudless Saturday morning at the WACA © Getty Perched in the media 'overflow' area that was totally exposed to the elements, sweat pouring down our faces and heads throbbing as the sun beat a tattoo on our helpless skins, we eased a touch forward in our seats as Ishant bounded in for the first ball of his eighth successive over the day. It was a beauty, dangled tantalisingly in the corridor; like moth to flame, Ponting's willow was drawn magnetically to the blasted little orb. The ball missed the centre of the bat, caught the outside edge and flew gently towards first slip and the warm, welcoming, grateful hands of Dravid. Oh ye cricketing Gods, sometimes you can be kind too. Ishant has come to Australia three times since for Test tours alone, and played one further Test at the WACA, but nothing he will ever do in this county can match that nine-over spell of such sustained hostility and aggression on a cloudless Saturday morning which had superstars like Ponting, Hussey and Andrew Symonds scurrying for cover. It was stuff 19-year-olds dream of; Ishant's dream had turned into reality, fuelling an Indian resurgence that went a long way towards getting rid of the bitter aftertaste of the unpalatable dish Sydney had thrown up ten days previously. It's impossible that Ishant would not have recalled that passage of play, or Kumble's deep 'Ek aur karega?' utterance on Wednesday (December 12) afternoon when the Indian team trooped out to the WACA for an optional net session ahead of the second Test from Friday. The game will be the first Test at the swank new Perth Stadium which is separated from the WACA by the Swan River, but the teams practiced at the WACA two days out because the new venue, built at a cost of $1.6 billion and costing every Western Australia household $1500, wasn't available for nets. Ishant and Jasprit Bumrah, two of the three pace-bowling cogs in the uber successful wheel at the Adelaide Oval where the visitors posted a stirring 31-run win on Monday, came to the ground not so much as part of the net session as to use the gym facilities at the WACA. Ishant was his typically boisterous self with a chirp here, a chatter there, the young man in an otherwise battled-grizzled veteran surfacing from time to time. From being the tyro in a sea of virtuosos in 2008 - among Ishant's team-mates, apart from Kumble, Dravid and Sehwag, were Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly - Ishant is today the senior statesman of the bowling unit. The mentoring role that Zaheer Khan once performed with such remarkable felicity and of which Ishant himself was once of the beneficiaries has now fallen on his broad shoulders, and he isn't a shabby leader for the likes of Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and their ilk. Aside of the golden generation which tasted Test wins in Australia in 2003-04 and again in 2007-08, Ishant is that exclusive club of Indians who have been involved in more than one Test victory Down Under. He is on his fourth Test tour of Australia - no other Indian paceman has managed that thus far - and is the second senior-most member of the Test squad behind Parthiv Patel, having made his debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in May 2007. He has a seven-for in a Lord's Test, and a fair few other laudatory efforts in the last decade, but it is his heroics at the WACA, the graveyard often of bowlers from the sub-continent who get carried away by the pace and the bounce, that will forever define his career. The aura around the WACA in an era past was gargantuan. It was as if tiny gladiators from India had been thrown to hungry lions in the Colosseum, their spirit willing but their best not good enough, the impact magnified manifold by excited commentary and spectacular pictures on television snatched between bites of breakfast before college or work. Australia seemed to take particular delight in bouncing out and bruising teams from Asia in the cauldron of the WACA and the amphitheatre of the Gabba in Brisbane, at one time the spiciest tracks in the country. WACA was war. WACA was the home of Lillee and McKenzie, of Alderman and the Marshes Geoff and Rod, of Hughes and Inverarity. WACA was where the battle cry was sounded, the bugle blown, the medics placed on stand-by. Ishant had played his part in the conquest of the WACA, in conquering the snarling, growling, circling Aussie lion. As victories go, and especially in light of what had happened in Sydney, there have been few sweeter ones. As he sets foot on the Perth Stadium outfield at Kitchener Park on Friday for his 12th Test match in Australia, Ishant will look wistfully in the direction of the WACA, and recall how a one-wicket spell thrust him into the limelight. For a moment then, he will forgive his unfortunate and recurring dalliances with the popping crease, and a generally unfulfilled career that has still brought him 259 wickets in 88 Tests. After all, it's not often that claiming a solitary scalp becomes folklore stuff. Not, of course, unless the bowler is Ishant Sharma, and the rabbit transfixed by the headlights answers to the call of Ricky Ponting. https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/105592/from-a-tyro-to-an-old-warhorse-ishants-perth-return
  2. sarcastic

    Birthday boys

    belated wishes!!!
  3. sarcastic

    Maha Yajna to pray for Rohit’s 100 in the 2nd innings

    So, this is the end of Rohit's test journey!!!!
  4. sarcastic

    Rohit actually looked “alright”

    Not that much of an older ball and he indeed looked comfortable and looked like dominating the bowlers.... but yes.... that ridiculous SHOT.............. is VERY VERY frustrating to say the least.
  5. Bumrah is the X-factor and Ishant is the leader of the attack! ( as per Zak ).
  6. https://live.cricket.com.au/match/2198/43849/cricket-australia-xi-men-vs-india-men-india-tour-of-australia-mens/scorecard there is a link. you need to create a login n sign in.
  7. Doing Yoga should help in being more patient and concentrate better during the test matches. There is NO need to make fun of everything our team does!
  8. Like Mussolini was an ally of Hitler!!! (i.e. more of a burden than an addition )
  9. I do not know if such things are maintained in India on an accurate basis. What I said is from what I heard in my own region. The farmers who diligently worked hard and paid of the loans were made to look fools when the state government just did "Runa Maafi" for the farmer. But if there is indeed credit ratings etc. and the farmers who took loans are in advantage of taking further loans, then it is really good. I wholeheartedly appreciate Big B's generosity here. But perhaps one needs to be careful where one is donating money to.
  10. Respect for the good intentions of Big B here. But paying off debts owed by farmers is not necessarily a good thing overall. This can make a lot of them take further loans and not do much work and spend the cash. When they cannot pay the money eventually, they will keep hoping that someone like the state government or a fat rich guy will payoff the loan.
  11. sarcastic

    Neil Wagner is such a great asset for the bowling unit

    In short, he is what India wants Ishant Sharma to be!
  12. Harsha Bhogle believes this is the weakest Australia has ever been and that he'll be disappointed if India's pacers don't run through their top order.
  13. You mean he may gamble by putting Anushka as the bet like the great yudhistir did during Mahabharat time!!!

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