Former Indian left-arm spinner Maninder Singh believes that Indian captain Virat Kohli is overusing Ishant Sharma who doesn’t look entirely fit. As a result, the pacer hasn’t looked at his best in recent matches. Singh even compared Kohli to MS Dhoni’s adamance and added that the former India captain had the same tendency to ‘be stubborn’ and repeat the same mistakes.
Ishant Sharma has conceded the most runs for an Indian bowler in the Headingley Test. Not only has he failed to pick up a wicket, the lanky pacer has also conceded runs at just under four per over. Ishant began his spell with two no-balls on Day 1 of the third Test and hasn’t managed to find his footing.
After a nightmare of an afternoon with the bat, experts had predicted that India should open the bowling with the more disciplined Jasprit Bumrah as the partner to Mohammad Shami but Virat Kohli began with Ishant Sharma and Shami. Maninder Singh was left shocked by that decision.
“It was a shocker to be honest,” Maninder Singh was quoted as saying by Cricinfo. “Sometimes I have seen captains become stubborn because they know they have got friends telling them, ‘This is what all experts have been talking about – you should have opened with Bumrah and Shami but you chose Ishant’.
“But sometimes the captains do get stubborn. I saw that in MS Dhoni as well – when you get criticized for something you try and prove people wrong and keep doing those wrong things, taking those wrong decisions. I am not very sure if Ishant is 100% fit because he has bowled just 11 overs and no maidens and in these conditions it’s very difficult to digest.”
Meanwhile, Mohammad Shami addressed the press after stumps on Day 2 of the Headingley Test and dismissed speculations that Ishant Sharma wasn’t entirely fit. Concerns had begun after the 32-year-old bowled unusually short spells but Shami revealed that it was all part of the captain’s plan and depended on the situation.
“See when sometimes the ball doesn’t come well off the bowler’s hands or if the team has been on the field for a long time, the captain starts giving short spells of 3-4 overs. You don’t need to bowl 7-8 over spells consistently in Test matches. It depends on the situation and the bowler’s rhythm as well, that’s very important. You must have seen that Ishant started the innings and ended it as well. So there are no doubts about his fitness,” said Shami.