Ishant Sharma on MS Dhoni

Ishant Sharma – I learnt a lot from Zaheer Khan’s work ethic

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Ahead of his 100th Test match, Ishant Sharma has proclaimed that he learnt a lot from Zaheer Khan in his formative years and the pacer’s work ethic was a big education.

Ishant Sharma has had a roller-coaster career over the last 14 years filled with incredible memories and always a zeal to improve in every spell. Things didn’t go his way in the initial years but in the fag end, he emerged as one of the deadliest bowlers on helpful pitches.

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It would be a celebration of sorts for him when he will receive his 100th Test cap in Ahmedabad as India take on England in the third Test from February 24. With a historic milestone upon him, Ishant thanked his first bowling partner in Test cricket, Zaheer Khan.

“If your career is 14 years long and you are still playing, you cannot name just one highlight. It is difficult to pinpoint just one highlight, every sportsperson has the graph going up and down. I cannot say about that one thing that took my graph or brought it down.

“Obviously, it feels great to be playing 100 Tests, I learn a lot from Zaheer Khan, I learnt from his work ethic. I have told everyone playing in the team that if you keep on working on your fitness, the rewards will come,” said Ishant during a virtual press conference on Monday.

“When I went to Australia in 2007-08 in Australia, I was just a youngster and I was just focusing on bowling. I did not think much, as we bowl in domestic cricket, I just followed the same. Over the years, I learnt by being in different situations.

“I have always had this motive in making the team win, till the day I play, I will play with the same motive. Personal milestones can be there, when you are about to leave your career you can see these milestones. But these are just numbers for me, I do not play for numbers, I just play to win,” he added.

Ishant stresses the importance of communication with captains

Since making his debut in Dhaka under the leadership of Rahul Dravid, Ishant has played under Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni and then Virat Kohli. Almost every captain has shown a tremendous amount of trust in the workhorse from Delhi but the pacer stated that a player understanding his captain’s wants is more important.

“It is tough to say which captain understood me the best. It is not about the captain understanding me but it is the other way around. It is important to know what the captain wants from me, when this communication is done, it makes things a lot easier,” he added.