Cricket

Ishant Sharma Should Lead The Attack, Says Venkatesh Prasad

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| December 27 , 2017 , 16:54 IST

Former India bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad believes that the senior medium-pacer Ishant Sharma has some great potential which he must realise and utilise to lead the team India's bowling attack in next month's series against South Africa.

In the three-match test series starting January 5 in Cape Town, the selectors have chosen five pacers including Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuveshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah but Sharma's stint with the team has been longest, making him an inspiration for Indian bowlers.

Prasad told a leading news agency, "Ishant has been around for more than a decade. It is high time that he leads the attack. I don't know what the issue is. He has got the pace, the height, the aggression but he has not realised his potential. He should be playing the role that Srinath (Javagal) played when he was around, or Zaheer Khan or Kapil Dev when they played."

Ishant has been playing for Team India since 2007 and is one of the most consistent bowlers having played 79 tests with 226 wickets at an average of 36.55. For the upcoming series, the players will be tested in diverse conditions which they must adapt to.

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"They all are different to each other. With more and more cricket being played and more rolling, the pitches in South Africa are not what they were 10-15 years ago. However, the extra bounce would surely suit the faster bowlers but it remains to be seen how the Indian pacers adapt to the conditions after doing well at home," said Prasad.

After doing well in the shorter format, Bumrah was called-up for the Tests. Venkatesh feels, "He has done well and that is why he has been picked. Let him get the opportunity then we will see how he fares. The requirements of bowling in Tests are different to the needs of the shorter formats."

While South Africa has Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada in their bowling team, India's line-up is also impressive. SA's Steyn and Morkel are joining the team back post an injury lay-off while Rabada presence could pose a threat to India.

Expressing his opinion, Prasad concluded, "With due respect, I don't see Steyn and Morkel posing a big threat. The bowler India need to watch out for is Rabada. He is young, he has got the pace and creates that awkward bounce for the batsman."