Indian pacer Ishant Sharma reached a major landmark on the fourth day of the ongoing first Test match between India and England, in Chennai, as he reached the milestone of 300 Test wickets.
The 32-year-old achieved the feat when he dismissed Dan Lawrence lbw for an individual score of 18. That reduced England to a score of 58/3 and thus allowed India to make further breakthroughs in the match.
That helped Ishant in becoming only the third Indian pacer to reach the 300-wicket landmark in Test cricket. Only Kapil Dev (434 wickets) and Zaheer Khan (311 wickets) are the Indian pacers to reach the milestone previously.
India’s star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who registered bowling figures of 6/61 in the second innings, spoke in detail about Ishant’s achievement in the post-match press conference.
“Look, Ishant has been one of the most hard-working cricketers, that I have seen in that Indian team dressing room,” said Ashwin, who is 14 wickets short of the 400-mark himself.
“He has worked extremely hard, for more than just one reason, because being that tall (6 ft 4 inch) itself requires a lot of facets to be managed through a career which is spanned out through almost 14 years now,” he continued.
“Ishant, who went to Australia and got Ricky Ponting out (in 2007-08), and then has gone through so many other tours, had his fair share of injuries, for a fast bowler to get close to 100 Tests in India is not a joke and it is fantastic fantastic achievement.
“I can keep going on and keep complimenting Ishant, but I really wish to see him get to 400 and probably 500 wickets, which should be sort of road map for a lot of Indian quicks going forward,” he added.
Apart from his on-field exploits, Ashwin also shed light on how Ishant is as a person off the field.
“If I have to say something about Ishant, his biggest plus is the smile. He is ever smiling. Even if he is very tired, he is smiling.
“Today, I jokingly told him that you won’t get a bowl. He (Ishant) said that’s ok because he was really tired. He is a man with a funny streak,” added Ashwin.