London: Cynosure of all eyes after his fiery spell earned India its first Test victory at the iconic Lord's in 28 years, fast bowler Ishant Sharma feels his efforts are never appreciated by people other than his team-mates.
"Sometimes, I feel like my efforts are never appreciated by people other than my team-mates. Even today, because I got all these wickets, people are praising me," Sharma said after India notched up a historic 95-run win over England in the second Test.
"But had I gone for runs, had the plan failed, no one would have appreciated the fact that I was continuously bowling bouncers with an 80-plus overs old ball. "It has always been like that with me and now I am pretty used to it. I am experienced enough to ensure that I don't get affected by what X Y Z is saying about me. I know that my mates have the belief in me and they appreciate what I do for the team. That's enough for me to carry on," he told BCCI.tv.
The 25-year-old pace spearhead grabbed a career-best seven for 74 to bring England's downfall and Sharma said his experience of playing at Lord's in 2011 helped him. "Last time when I picked four wickets at Lord's, I remember I was bowling very well in the first session but didn't get any wickets. When I came back on, I got four wickets in no time," Sharma said.
"It was on my mind today. I knew that on this ground the wickets come in bulk. So, I knew that if I stuck to my ploy patiently, I will get the rewards. I told the same to Shami and Bhuvi as well, so that they keep the belief and don't give up," he said.
Sharma's persistent effort to bowl bouncers on a flat wicket earned him results and he said the experience has taught him a lot. "Duncan (Fletcher) keeps telling me, 'bowl more bouncers, bowl more bouncers'. But when you go in with a plan, sometimes it works and at times it doesn't. Things happen suddenly.
Today I got to learn that if you keep trying persistently with the short ball ploy on a flat wicket with nothing in it for you, you can get rewards you never expected," he said.
Asked if he ever bounced so many batsmen out in one innings before, Sharma said: "No. You keep experiencing new things in life. This was one such new experience for me. I will try to learn from it."