Analysing Ishant Sharma's county stint with Sussex
Ishant's cricketing career has been a series of crests and troughs. Over the years, he has faced several moments of lost momentum but he has tried to bounce back to the best of his abilities every single time. His latest stint with Sussex reflects his dedication and mindset to make the best use of the present conditions.
After being snubbed in the IPL 2018 players' auction, Ishant has utilized his summer in the best way possible. He made a terrific move of offering his services to the English domestic team Sussex. Donning the Sussex jersey, he featured in the County Championship Division Two and the Royal London One Day games.
The 29-year-old pacer was the most successful bowler for his side. He played four first-class matches in which he picked up 15 wickets. His best performance came against Warwickshire in Birmingham where he registered impressive match figures of 29.2-7-69-5, which included the wickets of former England Test cricketers Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell. While playing in the Royal London One Day Cup, he scalped 8 wickets in 6 matches.
Ishant managed to grasp the English conditions very well. It reflected in his bowling when he turned quite a few heads, hitting that good length regularly with swing, and rendered the Glamorgan batsman Nicholas Selman clueless.
Ishant shined with the bat as well when he made his maiden fifty in first-class cricket against Leicestershire. He scored 66 runs from 141 balls including 6 fours and 1 six. He stitched a 153-run partnership with Michael Burgess for the eighth wicket.
Having played a lot of International, first-class and list-A cricket, "Lambu" (as he is affectionately referred to by his Indian teammates) is a seasoned campaigner now. The experience he has earned over the years adds an extra edge to his bowling abilities in terms of situational awareness and conditional understanding. He has worked very hard and his stint in the English domestic circuit proves it. Not only did he bowl at a good pace, he swung the ball consistently and troubled the clueless batsmen on multiple occasions.
Ishant proved his worth to the Sussex team and fans. He earned respect, both on and off the field. The English cricketer and his Sussex team-mate Luke Wright took to Twitter to praise the Indian pacer for his efforts. Here's the tweet:
Ishant left England to join the Indian team which is scheduled to play against Afghanistan in a one-off test match in Bengaluru from 14th of June. So far, he has played 81 test matches for India and has 234 wickets to his name. With India scheduled to play 5 Test matches in England later this year, Ishant’s experience of English conditions can work wonders for India.
Will Ishant help India reverse its fortunes when they land on England's shores in July? Have your say. Leave a comment below.