Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma showered praise on Ishant Sharma as the pacer is on the cusp of playing his 100th Test for India. The lanky pacer will hit the three-figure mark when India take on England in the 3rd Test at the newly-built Motera Stadium from Wednesday.
After Kapil Dev, he will be the second fast bowler to achieve this feat in Indian cricket. Ishant had made his Test debut for India in 2007 at the tender of age 18 and has since come a long way having established himself as a vital part of India's red-ball contingent.
"I remember a tall lanky guy coming to the nets and trials. He pitched the ball in right areas and caused a lot of trouble to the batsmen and the selectors were immediately impressed," said Kohli in the video posted on BCCI's official website.
"He then started playing for the state team from that season onwards and we have been room partners since then. And we have been close friends ever since we started playing together. So Ishant playing 100 Tests is equally a happy moment for me. I wish him all the best," he added.
"Big big congratulations on making it to the 100 Test match. It's never easy for any cricketer. He has seen some tough times as well on the field but he has never given up. The Hall Mark of his entire career put into one shell this what is Ishant Sharma all about. He has reached a stage that we rely on him," said Rohit.
Cheteshwar Pujara said that the atmosphere in the dressing room is always lively whenever Ishant is around. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recalled Ishant's spell to Ricky Ponting when he had troubled the ex-Aussie skipper.
"Whenever Ishant is around, the dressing room atmosphere is always lively. He likes to talk with people around him. I have played against him many times and he has got me out once or twice. There were times when I wasn't given out and he was frustrated," said Pujara.
"My first memory of Ishant has been the dismissal of Ricky Ponting. The way he was running with the big inswingers. All those fast bowlers who are watching must realise that Ishant is one of the most hard-working cricketers, and has made himself eligible to get to this point in the era of T20Is. If there is one person who deserves this feat, he is Ishant Sharma," recalled Ashwin.