"It was down to his attitude and mindset": Jason Gillespie on Ishant Sharma's transformation

Jason Gillespie credits Ishant Sharma's attitude for his improvement in the last few years
Jason Gillespie credits Ishant Sharma's attitude for his improvement in the last few years

Former fast bowler Jason Gillespie credited Ishant Sharma’s strong mindset and his eagerness to try and learn new things for his transformation. Speaking in an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu, Gillespie suggested that Ishant Sharma was responsible for his improvement.

“It was down to his (Ishant Sharma’s) attitude and his mindset, and his openness to learn and try different things. It was down to Ishant and he did wonderfully well,” Gillespie said.

Ishant Sharma played county cricket for Sussex under Jason Gillespie’s tutelage back in 2018, and he seemed to have returned from that stint as a different bowler.

The tall, lanky Ishant Sharma has picked up 63 Test wickets in 16 matches since his time in England. The Indian pacer has been bowling at an impressive average of just 19.19 in that time, compared to his career average of 32.39.

"Ishant Sharma was open to conversations of how to bowl well": Gillespie

Gillespie also spoke about how Ishant Sharma was keen to speak about how to bowl well in England. The Indian pacer’s coach at Sussex believes Ishant Sharma’s openness to conversations, and listening to teammates and coaches helped him improve as a bowler.

“What he did well was he was really open to conversations of how to bowl well in England. He wanted to have an impact, he listened to the teammates and coaches. He put in a lot of hard work, we spoke about wrist positions to make sure the length is right,” Gillespie said.
“In England, you bowl a fraction fuller than in India. The surfaces don’t bounce as much in India, so you have to dig it a bit shorter,” the former Australian pacer added.

Gillespie also revealed how the coaching team spoke to Ishant Sharma about the importance of using the wrist to while hitting the right line and length, thus getting the ball to move. The former Australia pacer also suggested that Ishant Sharma’s effort and work ethic further helped him become better than he was.

“We spoke to him about keeping the off stump in play and looking to hit that length to hit the batsmen on around the knee roll height on his front foot. If you can hit that length consistently and you can have your wrist and fingers behind the ball, that will allow the ball to move through the air, you will get some assistance from the Duke cricket ball off the pitch and it will create opportunities. He just worked really hard at making sure he got that length right,” Gillespie said.

Over the years, Ishant Sharma has become an integral part of the Indian cricket team’s pace attack, alongside the likes of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. This transformation seems to have come about since that county stint back in 2018.

Ishant Sharma and the Indian cricket team last played in New Zealand earlier this year. With COVID-19 bringing cricket to a halt in the last few months, we may see the team play again only when they tour Australia towards the end of the year.

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Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule
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