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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

SRH Ishant Sharma Credits Limited Overs Success To Confidence


After his blooming career was interrupted by injuries, there was a phase when Ishant Sharma’s appearances for India were limited to Test cricket. The selectors thought he was too precious to be lost to the rigors of fast-paced shorter formats of the game. But, like every young cricketer, Ishant wanted to excel in all formats and play as much cricket as possible. (Also Read: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kandurata Maroons: Q2 - Match Report)

He got stronger, started to hit the gym regularly and built his self-confidence. As a result, he helped India to the Champions Trophy title with 10 wickets and bowled with tremendous control in the ODIs in West Indies.

Now, the 25-year-old pacer has helped the Sunrisers Hyderabad take the first step in the 2013 CLT20 in the right direction by bowling fine four overs for 2-20 against Kandurata Maroons in the second Qualifier.

After the match that SRH won by eight wickets (Shikhar Dhawan scored 71) Ishant spoke toclt20.com about his newly found confidence talked about his team’s performance.

Here is the conversation…

Yes, this team has something about it. This is our first season as a team and we did so well in the IPL to get to here. We are a very strong-knit unit and we support each other to the hilt. 

The wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne was the key to the match given how fluently he was batting. Talk us through that yorker you bowled to get him out.

When a batsman is going strong, you have to use all your experience to try and get the better of him. The wicket was very good for batting and so, I knew I had to mix things up a bit. Instead of bowling all six balls on the same spot I decided to vary my length. I tried the fuller delivery, the slower one, bowled a bit short and he hit me for two fours. Off the fifth ball I thought I should bowl a yorker and fortunately I got it right. He tried to go for a big one and got out.

Normally, how many times out of 10 do you get the yorker right?

I believe it has a lot to do with your confidence when you are about to bowl it. One should accept the fact that he cannot get it right all the time and bowl it with confidence rather than be skeptical about it. The more confident I am, the more are my chances of getting it right.

Most SRH bowlers went for runs when Sangakkara and Thirimanne were batting. But you were very economical. Did it have something to do with the fact that India plays Sri Lana so often?

Yes, it helped a lot. We play a lot against them and we know their games inside out. Also, most of the Kandurata Maroons players are international cricketers and hence we know what field to set to each of them and what strategy to form against each of them. That really helps.

How was it having Kumar Sangakkara play against SRH?

I think he is a tremendous guy. He was a great leader for us in the IPL but he chose to play for his state side and we all respect that decision. I think what he did was absolutely right.

There was a time when you when you were picked only in the Test team and you always maintained that you want to play in all formats. You have done really well in the shorter formats of late. What has changed?

I haven’t made any changes as such. The only difference is that I am more confident and in a good space mentally. When you re clear in your head you know exactly what you want to do and how to go about it. I have done well in the past and bowled in tough situations. I have seen times when things have not gone y way and I have learned from those situations. I have played 50-odd Tests and ore than 60 ODIs, and have experienced everything on the way. I can now say that I am a mature cricketer.

Now a word for your new SRH captain. You have played with Shikhar so much in Delhi. What is your take on him as a leader?

He has evolved so much as a cricketer in the past one year and his confidence has risen up to another level. That shows in his captaincy as well. For instance, today, we were going for runs when Sangakkara and Thirimanne were batting but he created and maintained a very calm atmosphere on the field. He knows he has a good team and he believes in us as much as he believes in his own abilities with the bat.



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