In a chat with bcci.tv, India’s tall and lanky pacer, Ishant Sharma opened up about the incident in Sri Lanka recently, where he got involved in a heated conversation with Dhammika Prasad.
Ishant had to face wrath from the officials after the incident and was even handed over a Test match suspension along with Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal. The Indian bowler revealed that Dhammika was bowling him, continuous bouncers, because he got hit on his hand earlier from his bowling.
“Dhammika Prasad was bowling bouncers to me. In an over you can only bowl two, but he bowled a third one. I knew that he was doing it because he got hit on his hand off my bowling earlier,” Ishant said.
He continued: “Anyway when he bowled a third bouncer, it did not come up. So, I just told him, ‘You are too slow to hit me on the helmet’. He got offended and other Sri Lankan players got involved too. Things heated up from there and got carried on when I came on to bowl.”
The 27-year-old added that even the hot weather conditions and the no-pace support flat pitches in the first two Tests were the factors that led to the heated exchange of words.
“Another factor was that the conditions were extremely hot there and the pitches we got for the first two Tests were very flat. As a fast bowler, you need to do something to charge you up and spur you on to achieve something special. It was that moment for me,” he said.
The Delhi fast bowler spoke about his ban and clarified saying that he was not banned because of the incident which happened with Dhammika, in fact, he was ban for celebrating a dismissal in the face of one Sri Lankan batsman.
“I know many people believe what I did was very wrong because I got banned (for one Test). I did not get banned because of my spat with Prasad, which everyone was criticizing me for. I got banned because I celebrated in the batsman’s face after getting him out. That is not allowed. It was the heat of the moment.”
Because of the one match ban, Ishant couldn’t play in the first Test match against South Africa at Mohali where India scripted the victory in just three days. But he didn’t have to wait much as he was immediately picked in the squad for the second Test.
Ishant has picked 200 Test wickets for India in the 65 matches he has participated. His bowling average (36.51) isn’t very interesting, but he has produced some match-winning performances for India from time-to-time. He currently leads the in-experience Indian pace attack.