Ishant Sharma plays 100th Test: A look at his 5 top moments in Test cricket
Ishant Sharma made his Test debut in 2004 in Bangladesh. Since then, he has become one of the most fierce and consistent pacers for Team India in the format, having attained success worldwide. As a result, he is now playing his 100th Test, thus becoming the 11th Indian.
Indian pacer Ishant Sharma has become a pace-bowling sensation for Team India. While he has featured and had success across formats, it is the Tests where he has had the most authority.
Owing to his remarkable ability to claim wickets on any given track, he has become a consistent member of India's Test squad. Despite initially starting as a lethal pacer, he has also mastered his seam ability, which has been highly impactful in the longest format.
As a result, he is now playing his 100th Test, thus becoming the 11th Indian to do so. Consequently, we take a look at five of his top moments from the format.
Scaring the hell out of Ricky Ponting
During the controversial and troubled tour of Australia in 2008, Ishant Sharma was touring Down Under for the first time. Known for his striking pace abilities, he had a good time with the ball against a prominent and lethal Aussie batting line-up. As he generated enough pace on the bouncy Australian wickets, it made batting and life miserable for then-Australian skipper Ricky Ponting. Since then, Ponting never really mastered playing against Ishant.
Rattling England at Lord's
During the 2014 tour of England, India was on a roll during the first two Tests. Having drawn the opening Test at Trent Bridge, India looked determined to win the second at Lord's. While Ishant could not claim any in the first innings, he came up with a fiery spell in the second, claiming seven, as England was left in jitters, with the visitor leading the five-Test series 1-0 before eventually losing it 1-2.
Trying to mock Steven Smith
In 2017, during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia at home, India managed to win the title. Meanwhile, during the second Test in Bengaluru, then-Australian skipper Steven Smith was involved in a funny facial banter with Ishant. Although it was the latter who initiated it, to get under the former's skin, the Australian remained unmoved before coming up with an expression of his own. During one of the instances, Ishant's comical appearance caught considerable attention, as even Indian skipper Virat Kohli could not help but laugh it out loud. Ishant's face also became a meme on social media.
Becoming India's second-best outside Asia
During the 2019 tour of Windies, Ishant was once again in a glowing mood, as he claimed eight wickets in the opening Test in Antigua. During this Test, he surpassed Kapil Dev's long-standing record of being India's most successful pacer outside Asia. Overall, he is the second-most successful Indian bowler outside Asia (163), after Anil Kumble (200).
It was not just with the ball, but Ishant also had success with the bat during the same Windies tour. In the following Test in Barbados, Ishant scored 57 in the opening innings, which happened to be his maiden Test half-century. While India was already leading after the opening Test, this knock somewhat demoralised Windies, as the visitor won it again and completed a 2-0 clean sweep.