Kolkata, Nov 13: Relishing the new role of being the strike bowler in absence of an injured Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma on Sunday said it is an honour to lead the Indian pace attack.
”Obviously it's a great feeling... It's an honour to lead the Indian attack (in absence of Zaheer Khan). Being a senior most bowler in the team, it's really great. It's difficult to express this kind of feeling actually,” he said.
”You are obviously going to miss a bowler like Zak. But injuries are a part and parcel of the game. You have to play the role of the senior when someone is injured. Whatever you have in the team, you need to go ahead and give your best shot.”
The new look Indian pace battery has quickies such as Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, who can clock 90 mph on an average and Ishant said it's really a great feeling in the dressing room.
”Earlier, everyone was saying that Indians can't produce fast bowlers. Now all the three fast bowlers are clocking consistently 90 miles per hour. Obviously it's a great feeling for any fast bowler in the team,” he said.
Ishant added he is completely fit and doesn't need a surgery to fix his left ankle.
The lanky pacer was ruled out of the limited-overs series against England after he sustained a ligament injury to his left ankle during the third Test at Edgbaston.
Ishant, who got fit for the West Indies series, had earlier said that he would undergo surgery on his injured ankle after the conclusion of India's tour of Australia tour early next year.
But the 23-year-old on the eve of the second Test against the West Indies said he has recovered fully and don't need a surgery anymore.
”There is no risk about it (ankle). When I was not playing, I trained a lot at the National Cricket Academy. I am fit actually. I don't need any surgery now.
”I've been working a lot on my ankle. I don't need a surgery ahead of the Australia tour,” Ishant told reporters after India's practice session today.
Ishant said he has no knowledge about what the pitch has to offer.
”Before the game, I don't look at the pitch. So I don't know how it's going to behave.”
Asked why Indian bowlers are not getting reverse swing in the Kotla wicket, Ishant said: “It's too difficult to get reverse swing in the first innings as the wicket is fresh.
”The only thing you can do is to be consistent and bowl in the right areas. As the day progresses, you get reverse swing. Reverse swing happens only on second or third day of a Test match.”
Ishant believes it would be good to have two practice games before the four-Test series against Australia beginning on Boxing Day (December 26).
”Australia tour is after this series. We will get practice game there. We will get two practice matches there to get accustomed to the conditions. In India, the wickets are like this only. We can't complain about this.”
Ishant said he did not have any knowledge about the team combination for the second Test beginning on Monday.
India lead the three-Test series 1-0 after their five-wicket win in the opening Test at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.