Ishant Sharma joins the 300 club, becomes only the third Indian fast bowler to do so
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma on Monday joined an elite list of Indian cricketers as he bagged his 300th Test wicket in the ongoing match against England in Chennai. He achieved the feat on Day Four of the first Test here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium when he got the wicket of England’s Daniel Lawrence in their second innings. Lawrence scored 18 runs off the 47 deliveries he faced before he was dismissed lbw by Ishant.
Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan are the other Indian fast bowlers to reach 300-wicket milestone in the longest format of the game. Ravichandran Ashwin, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh are the other Indian bowlers to scalp 300 or more wickets in Test cricket.
Ishant, however, is the slowest Indian bowler to scalp 300 wickets. He reached the milestone in 98 Test matches, whereas Ashwin — having scalped 300 wickets in 54 Tests — is the fastest. Ashwin is followed by Kumble (66), Harbhajan (72), Kapil Dev (83) and Zaheer (89).
Kumble remains the highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket with 619 wickets ahead of Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan (417).
Ishant had made his Test debut in 2007 against Bangladesh in Dhaka. He has also played 80 ODIs and 14 T20Is so far in which he has scalped 115 and eight wickets respectively.
He made his name during the 2007-08 tour to Australia. During the second Test at Perth he had famously dismissed Ricky Ponting after agreeing to bowl another over on Virender Sehwag’s insistence.
As per the conversation heard on the stump mic Sehwag told Kumble: “Ponting strike par hai. Usko ek aur overdo (give him (Ishant) one more over).”
Kumble asked Sharma: “Ek aur over karega (will you bowl one more over)?” Sharma replied: “Haan, karoonga (Yes, I will).” And the rest is history as Sharma picked Ponting with the first ball of his over.
The life as an Indian fast bowler hasn’t been an easy one for Sharma. He has in the past suffered both from loss of form and injuries. However in the last few years he has emerged as the leader of a potent Indian fast bowling attack that includes the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami.