Team had motivation to create history in Australia: Ishant

Veteran Indian pacer Ishant Sharma believes winning a Test series in Australia is a very big thing for any cricketer, saying he is glad that he was part of the team which created history Down Under on their last tour.

India, under Virat Kohli in the 2018-19 series, became the first Asian side to beat Australia in a Test series in their own den. The series featured stellar performances from batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Kohli and the fast bowling battery featuring Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant.

“First time winning a Test series in Australia is obviously a very big thing for any cricketer. It was big for me as I had toured Australia four times and I know how tough it is. The team had the motivation to create history in Australia,” Ishant told his Indian teammate Mayank Agarwal on the series ‘Open Nets with Mayank’ hosted by bcci.tv.

India will begin the defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Brisbane which will host the first Test of the four-match series scheduled to be played later in the year in December-January.

Australia were without the services of Steve Smith and David Warner in the last series as both were serving their bans handed by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the Sandpaper Gate controversy. However, the duo would, in all likelihood, be in the squad, thus providing strength to the batting unit of Australia.

Ishant also talked about his famous reaction against Smith during the Bengaluru Test match in 2017. Ishant in a very animated reaction against Smith had left his teammates and fans in splits. The lanky pacer said he was just trying to unsettle the Australia batter and that was the reason he tried things like that.

When asked if he will try to mimic Smith in the upcoming tour, Ishant replied: “At this point in time, I want to enjoy my cricket by taking wickets and contributing to the side. I will focus on this only, unless and until you guys don’t provoke me to do something mischievous.”

A veteran of 97 Tests, Ishant has 297 wickets to his name. Besides that, he has also scored a fifty which came against West Indies in Kingston in 2019. He had scored 57 runs and was the second-highest run-scorer for India after Hanuma Vihari. KL Rahul and Mayank had scored 13 and 55 runs, respectively in that innings.

Recalling his half century, the Delhi pacer said he had fun time with Rahul after scoring his maiden Test fifty.

“Leave everyone’s reaction ask KL Rahul about his reaction. KL Rahul said if I would have scored 100 then he would have jumped from the balcony. KL scored some 25-26 runs and he said ‘son if you scored more than me I will do this and that for you’.”

“My batting gloves got wet for the 1st time. It was KL Rahul’s gloves and he gave me pair of new gloves as well. He was like ‘I should have batted with these gloves and then I could also have scored a fifty’,” he added.

Ishant is currently spending time with his family in the national capital during the forced break amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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