WTC final: Ball will swing even without saliva, says Ishant Sharma

Written by Abhishek Patil

Senior India speedster Ishant Sharma believes that the ball will swing even without saliva during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here and somebody from the team will need to maintain it through the match starting June 18.

The 32-year-old, a veteran of 101 Tests, is expected to lead the Indian bowling attack when the team takes on New Zealand in the marquee clash.

“I think the ball will swing even without saliva and somebody needs to take responsibility to maintain the ball,” Sharma said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected‘.

“And if the ball is maintained well in these conditions, then it becomes easier for the bowlers to take wickets in these conditions,” he added but did not get into specifics.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has prohibited bowlers from applying saliva to the ball.

According to Sharma, who has 303 Test wickets to his name, adjusting to lengths is important in England.

“You need to train differently and adapt to the change. In India, you get the reverse swing after some time, but in England, the length is fuller because of the swing.

“So, you have to adjust to the lengths. It is not easy to force that and the weather here is cooler so it takes time to acclimatize to the weather,” said Sharma.

“And the quarantine makes it difficult…The way you train in the gym and the training on the ground is very different, so you have to adjust to that and it takes time,” he added.

Meanwhile, young India opener Shubman Gill said that to survive in England, the batters need to leave the loose balls.

“When I toured England with India A and the Under-19 team, everyone asked me to play a certain number of balls if I wanted to score runs.

“But I feel, your intent to score runs should never go on the back seat and you should look to survive,” said the 21-year-old, who has played seven Tests so far.

“When you are looking to score runs, the bowlers get to the back foot and you can put some pressure on the bowler. I think, at times to survive in England you have to leave the loose balls,” he added.

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Abhishek Patil