Experience cannot be bought from any shop, it can be only be gained by slugging it hard over time. And Team India fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who is now going to play the 100th Test match for India, is an exemplary performer of hard work. After Kapil Dev, he will be the second fast bowler to achieve this feat in Indian cricket.
Ishant, who cooked himself in a Test cricket furnace from the age of just 18, was once described as 'extinguished'. However, there was so much oil in this lamp. Now the entire cricket world has come to know. His bowling continues to sharpen and that's the reason Ishant took 226 wickets in his first 79 Tests; taking 76 of them in the last 20 matches. It is clear from this that Ishant is riding on the high of experience which only gets better with time.
And on Wednesday when Ishant is going to play the 100th Test match of his career as Pink Ball in the third match of the ongoing Test series against England, we will take a look at the five best spells of his journey in the longest format so far
2014: England vs India, Lords- 7/74
Ishant has described the spell of the Test match played at Lord's in the 2014 tour of India in England as his best performance. That is why we have placed it at the top. Ishant did not get a single wicket after conceding 61 runs in the first innings of this Test match. However in the second innings he started to wreak havoc with his bowling and bowled 7 wickets for 74 runs against the Englishmen; helping India registered a historic win by 95 runs.
2011: West Indies vs India, Bridgetown- 6/55 & 4/53
After making his Test debut in the year 2007, Ishant Sharma arguably bowled the best spell of his career away from home against West Indies in 2011. Ishant had surprised everyone in the Test match played on the home turf of the Caribbean in Bridgetown. In the first innings of this Test match, Ishant took 6 wickets for 55 runs, after which he took 4 wickets for 53 runs in the second innings. His terrific spells meant Windies failed to score big at home and the match was drawn. While taking 10 wickets for 108 runs in the Test match, this was a very helpful spell in extending his early Test career.
2014: New Zealand vs India, Wellington- 6/51
Ishant also wreaked havoc on New Zealand at their own den with a Kookaburra red ball. The pace with which Ishant bowled during India's tour of New Zealand in 2014 left New Zealand Kiwi batsmen stunned. Ishant started bowling first in the Wellington Test match played on New Zealand tour and in the first innings, Ishant started to terrorise Kiwis. In this way, he bowled 17 overs and sent 6 batsmen from New Zealand for 51 runs. So his first innings was reduced to 192 runs, although this test match was also drawn.
2007: India vs Pakistan, Bangalore- 5/118
After making his Test debut in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2007, Ishant got his first chance to field against Pakistan. In which he gave his full strength and took 5 wickets for the first time in his career. Ishant got a chance in the final Test match of the three-Test series against Pakistan. In which he took 5 wickets for 118 runs. Not only this, the wicket taken by Pakistan's Imran Farhat in this match was very much discussed. While the match was drawing.
2019: India vs Bangladesh, Kolkata- (5/22) & 4/56)
For the first time in the history of Indian cricket, Team India was going to play a Test match with Pink Ball at the Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata and the opposing team was Bangladesh. In this historic match, Ishant etched his name forever as took 5 wicket-haul while leading all the bowlers.
Ishant took 5 wickets for 22 runs in the first innings against Bangladesh, while in the second innings also 4 batsmen for 56 runs showed the path of the pavilion.