Ishant Sharma takes a dig at current India management for unnecessary workload concerns
The Indian team management has been focussed on rotating its players in bid to manage their workload in recent years, especially for the fast bowlers. The team has had its share of untimely injury setbacks in the past, most notably at the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia earlier this season, wherein they were without the services of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.
Ishant Sharna, who has bagged 311 Test wickets till date, which is as many as Zaheer Khan’s tally and the second most by an Indian quick till date after Kapil Dev, doesn’t exactly agree with the concept. Having not played a Test since November last year, Ishant feels that a fast bowler can only improve if they keep bowling regularly.
"The only thing I would say right now is: 'Do not think too much about the workload'. That's a new term that's come up in recent times, especially for fast bowlers," Ishant told Sportstar.
“I never saw something like that during my international stint. When I started playing, my coach was an old-fashioned coach who would give me a ball in hand at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and we would go on till the sunset. That's how I could bowl long spells when I made my debut in Ranji Trophy and later on for India. If you want to improve, the only thing you can do is to keep bowling.”
Ishant is currently representing the Delhi team in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2022-23, India’s premier first-class cricket competition. He returned 1/46 in the only innings he bowled in the side’s Elite, Group B opener against Maharashtra in Pune, wherein they went down by nine wickets.
Ishant emphasised on the value of bowling in domestic cricket, stating that the longer spells bowled helps a fast bowler to adapt to the challenges at the international level.
"I think if you have made your name through domestic cricket, you should not be selective about playing games thereafter,” he said. “If you want to play domestic cricket, nobody can stop you. Only when you have played a sizable amount of cricket for the country can you be given a break at times. Most pacers break down during Ranji Trophy games because they don't go through the ideal preparation.
"Bowling in Ranji Trophy is a different ball game altogether. If you are studying for the IAS exam, you have to study for 16 hours a day. Similarly, if you want to prepare to last a whole season of Ranji Trophy and bowl 20 overs a day, you cannot prepare for it by taking breaks. You have to prepare accordingly. Only if you are used to bowling 25 overs in the nets every day can you bowl 20 overs in a game."