Ishant Sharma believes helping Team India clinch the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) would be like winning the World Cup. The 32-year-old speedster stated that he is focused on helping his country qualify for the WTC final at Lord's.
The hosts still have a bit of work to do to make it to the showpiece event. Team India need to win at least one of the two remaining Test matches in the ongoing series against England, while avoiding defeat in both fixtures. Ishant Sharma will also be playing his 100th Test, which is a monumental achievement for a fast bowler.
In a video-conference before the third Test at Ahmedabad, Ishant Sharma explained how much a potential Team India win in the WTC final at Lord's would mean to him.
"There is only one thing on my mind right now, and that is how to win this series and qualify ourselves for the World Test Championship final. I play only one format for India and World Test Championship is like a World Cup for me. So if we are able to reach the final and win it then I will surely feel the same that a team feels on winning the ICC World Cup or the Champions Trophy," Ishant Sharma said.
Ishant Sharma crucial for Team India in pink-ball Test
The pink ball has traditionally aided the pacers in both swing and seam a bit more than the red ball. Thus, it would make a bowler of Ishant Sharma's ability even more lethal, if the tall pacer gets it right.
The series is level at 1-1 and Team India cannot afford another slip-up after their loss in the first Test. Fortunately, their comeback win in the second would have given them a lot of confidence going into the day-night encounter.
While Team India have Ishant Sharma as an out-and-out swing bowler, the visitors have a certain James Anderson, who showed his class in the first Test with some irresistible reverse swing. England will hope for the wily old fox can unleash his tricks with the pink ball in Ahmedabad.
Both teams will be desperate to win the remaining two games, as a defeat for either side will end their chances of making it to the WTC final. The climax of this series promises to be an enthralling one.