Slept only 40 minutes yesterday: Ishant after Day 2 heroics in Wellington

Written by Sumit Seth

Experienced fast bowler Ishant Sharma said he was not able to execute his plans properly on Day 2 of the ongoing 1st Test vs New Zealand in Wellington due to jet lag.

Ishant Sharma, who arrived in New Zealand 72 hours before the 1st Test after clearing a late fitness test, said he slept only for 3 hours on the eve of the Test and just 40 minutes on Friday in the lead up to Day 2 action.

Nonetheless, Ishant Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he showed no signs of rustiness on return from an ankle injury that cast doubts over his participation in the New Zealand tour.

Ishant Sharma was picked in the 16-member India squad but his availability was subject to a fitness test clearance. Ishant successfully cleared the fitness test in Bengaluru and joined the team late in New Zealand.

Ishant suffered multiple ligament tears during a Ranji Trophy match for Delhi in January. He was expected to be out for 6 weeks but the lanky pacer recovered early and joined the team in New Zealand.

“I am not happy. I haven’t slept in the last 2 days. I was struggling today also. I did not bowl the way I wanted to. The team asked me to play so I played. Anything for the team,” Ishant Sharma said.

“Not that I wasn’t happy with my bowling. I wasn’t happy with my body as I could only sleep for 40 minutes last night and the day before the Test match, I slept for three hours.

“The more you can recover (from jet lag), the better effort you can put in on the ground. There’s no better recovery than a sound sleep. The sounder your sleep is, the better your body will respond on the ground.”

Ishant Sharma finished Day 2 with figures of 3/31 after bowling 15 overs. The India pacer got the wickets of Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Tom Blundell as he brought India back into the game after they were bundled out for 165.

Thanking the support staff at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, Ishant Sharma shed light on the road to recovery after suffering the injury last month.

“All credit goes to the NCA support staff. They worked really hard with me. The Big thing was, we never really have to come and play a Test match. My MRI showed I had a complete tear, ligament tear, not one but two. I was expected to be out for 6 weeks. I just wanted to carry on with my rehab. Nothing was playing on my mind… I did not think about playing the New Zealand Tests.

“I just told myself ‘if it happens, well and good. Otherwise, I cannot do anything about it’. Even in the bathroom, you can slip and get injured.

“Before I came here, I tested myself. I bowled 21 overs in 2 days in Bengaluru. And then I came here. I again bowled 1 and half hours in the nets to check if I am match fit. Because after traveling for almost 24 hours, it was a big toll on the body.”

New Zealand were 216 for 5 at Stumps on Saturday as they sealed a 51-run lead despite losing the wickets of Ross Taylor and captain Kane Williamson towards the close of play.

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Sumit Seth