Ishant Sharma, one of the best Test bowlers India has ever produced, is no longer “in the scheme of things” in terms of national selection. However, the seasoned bowler has excelled with the red ball throughout the years. While Jasprit Bumrah appears to have assumed the role of India’s “marquee bowler,” Ishant formerly ruled the roost for the side in white. Ishant told an unusual story about Virat Kohli, recalling an incident that happened when a young Bumrah joined the team.
Ishant admitted during a talk on Cricbuzz that he had always had high expectations for Bumrah. Ishant described a 2018 incident in which Kohli wanted to talk to Bumrah because of his poor first spell, but Ishant prevented him from doing so. “I knew a day would come when Bumrah would become a leader. I remember in 2018 when we were playing a Test match in Australia and his first spell did not go well. Virat told me ‘I think I should go and speak to him’. I said ‘ He is a very smart bowler. He understands it. Usko chhor de. Usko pata hai kya karna, kya nehi karna (Leave him alone. He knows what he needs to do). In that way, he is very smart. He understands the game and he understands the situation.’ When you understand the situation, especially in Test cricket, you can make a comeback very quickly,” he said.
Bumrah amassed a record-breaking 21 wickets in that particular series, including a 5-wicket haul that helped India win famously in Australia. Today, whether playing red-ball or white-ball cricket, Bumrah has made a name for himself as one of the best bowlers in the world.