Ishant Sharma recalled the incident when he conceded 30 runs in an over to James Faulkner in 2013 ODI. The lanky pacer said that he felt like he betrayed the country and cried a lot for the next 2-3 weeks.
It was the third ODI of the seven-match series and Australia needed 44 off last three overs. MS Dhoni decided to give the bowl to Ishant, but it didn't work in India's favour as Faulkner took the charge over the lanky pacer as the match turned towards Australia. Ishant referred it as a turning point of his life.
“The turning point of my life came in 2013. Faulkner hit me for 30 runs in one over in an ODI in Mohali that Australia went on to win,” Sharma was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo in their show cricketbaazi.
Ishant also revealed that he called his girlfriend after the incident and cried like a child on the phone.
“At that time I felt I had betrayed myself and my country. For two-three weeks, I didn’t speak to anyone. I cried a lot. I am a very tough guy. My mother says she hasn’t seen a tougher person than me. [But] I called my girlfriend and cried on the phone like a child. Those three weeks were like a nightmare. I stopped eating. I couldn’t sleep or do anything else. You switch on the television and people are criticising you, which messes you up even more,” said Ishant.
Faulkner was named Man of the Match for his blistering knock of 64 off 29 balls, the all-rounder turned into an MVP for the Aussies, in that series, while Ishant lost his place in the team after the match.
“I laugh about it now and I consider it a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you need a jolt to understand your passion. After the Faulkner incident, I went through major changes in my life. After 2013, I started taking things seriously. Before that, if I had a bad performance, people would come and tell me ‘It’s okay, it happens.’ But after 2013, if someone came to me and said that, I wouldn’t listen. If I have made a mistake, I have made a mistake. I started taking responsibility for my actions. When you do that, you play every match to win it for the team,” he said.
Ishant is currently a mainstay in India's Test line-up as he is just 3 wickets away to breach the 300-wicket mark with the red ball.