….”Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma”…..
(Turkish Czar) Recep Tayyip Erdogan once noted that – “The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army.” Of course he was too modest to say this but we suspect some of his followers/fans may have worship-fully cried out – “Erdogan is our Caliph.”
India is not blessed with too much military or ideological prowess (thankfully) but there is one indestructible weapon: the short ball from Ishant Sharma. The missile when launched will not be intercepted by any agency, not even the Iron Dome. The only problem is when the missile mis-directs and destroys its own.
Still when you wait 28 years to win a test match at the Lord’s (and 3 years presently without an overseas test victory) you have to give the Ishant Sharma jokes a rest (temporarily). The next test is at the Rose Bowl (Southampton) in 5 days. May the best side win!!!
India have made 626. Pakistan are 96 overs into their innings and every
batsman has made a double-figure score. There have already been three
hundreds and a double-hundred. A teen, more like a young boy, with more
hair than any human needs and an extremely prominent Adam’s apple, comes
on to bowl.
A ball from a good length jumps up and makes Faisal Iqbal’s forward
defence look idiotic. It flies off the gloves to a deepish short leg. It
is one of five wickets in the innings for a 19-year old bowling on the
many remains of deceased seamers who went before him.
India had found their missing link.
questions to people who have just admitted they are cricket
journalists. You cannot escape that when you have played over 50 Tests
and average more than 35.
would whip the Ishant boy all over social media. Tall for nothing.
Over-rated. Slow. Can’t keep his foot behind the line. Can’t move the
ball away from right-handers. Falls apart under pressure. Google
suggests Ishant-Sharma jokes as its third search suggestion.
fast. He gets natural movement. He can reverse swing the ball. They
don’t grow on trees in India, or really, anywhere. If he uses all these
things right, he’s a match-winner.
isn’t as fast as Johnson, or as tall as Morne Morkel. On a bad day, he
is a fast-medium bowler with a no-ball problem and average control.
Potential is a powerful aphrodisiac.
good ones swing further in and carry above the stumps to the keeper with
a bit of heat on it. Akmal missed one such delivery like this. And
Ishant decided to tell him about it. Loudly.
a foot and three inches of hair shorter. Not to mention sledging a guy
with an ODI batting average of 26 is like picking on the kid who isn’t
allowed to use scissors in class. Ishant has to be removed from the
during the innings where Warner swung and connected with India’s head.
Warner came back with verbal aggression and they had to be separated.
But not before Warner said, “You’re kidding yourself, you are a bad
Ishant is more sure. He’s surer than sure. He stands a few feet from
Root and discusses it with him. And discusses it. And discusses.
Eventually the two have to be removed. Replays show Ishant may not have
been right. Although I doubt any replay could have changed his mind.
piece of glacier-like fielding from Zaheer Khan, Ishant used a term that
suggested an incestuous relationship after watching the ageing seamer
allow an extra run.
Australia need 44 from 18.
47.1 A wide half-volley. Four.
47.2 A short ball. Six.
47.3 A straight half-volley. Six.
47.4 A short ball. Two.
47.5 A short ball. Six.
“47.6 I Sharma to Faulkner, SIX, SIX MORE, what on earth? Ishant Sharma
had his critics before this game, there aren’t going to be many people
backing him after this, short once more, another pull, right off the
middle off the bat, and that sails into the crowd once more, crowd not
sure whether to be gobsmacked by this hitting from Faulkner or be
thrilled by this sensational turnaround, that’s Faulkner’s 50 as well”
Australia win with three balls to spare.
order. He bowled quick. The ball moved. And Ishant took 6 for 51.
There were sexy short balls and tricky straight balls. It was lovely and
New Zealand had no answer to it. It was the sort of performance that
should have justified the selectors faith in him.
wickets and went for 164 runs. It doesn’t seem to matter how good or bad
Ishant is, Ishant remains.
started with a no-ball. Ishant bowls a lot of no balls. Ishant is
known for no balls. Then Ishant bowled a fast, reverse-swinging ball
that tailed in and smashed into Sam Robson’s pads. Ishant does bowl
reverse-swinging balls that tail in and smash into pads. Ishant is known
for reverse-swinging balls that tail in and smash into pads. Ishant
aggressively sent off Robson. Ishant often does aggressive send-offs.
Ishant is known for aggressive send-offs.
slow long-hop that Ian Bell smacked for four. Ishant bowls a lot of
short, slow long-hops that get smacked for four. Ishant is known for
short, slow long-hops that get smacked for four. Ishant bowls a ball
drifting down leg side. Ishant bowls a lot of balls drifting down leg
side. Ishant is known for drifting the ball down the leg side.
That was one over. That was Ishant’s career.
Balls flying off a length. Quick swinging balls. Fast short balls. The
hair, the necklace, the stare, the aggression. This is a fast bowler;
you can smell it through the screen.
further in and bounces quite well to the keeper. It’s a sexy ball, but
it’s not that likely to get you out. An edge will probably be an inside
edge that flies past the keeper. His height means the ball goes over the
stumps. It’s essentially a theatre ball for people to “oh” and “ah”
about. In the end, it’s a tragedy delivery. It’s the unlucky Ishant
ball like it did that summer.
you can get the ball to reverse in, you should also have the attributes
to conventionally swing the ball out. Somehow Ishant doesn’t. He’s
flawed. And he’s a rhythm bowler, which is often code for – he can be
good, or really rubbish.
his first tour bowl very good, and on occasion, very quick. This is
despite the fact he only averages 44 against Australia, has an average
of 73 in Australia and only has a best of 3 for 115 in Australia. It’s
because of how many times Ishant dismissed Ricky Ponting.
Ishant had the pace and bounce, and when combined with a bowler who
naturally moved the ball in, it was something Ponting never did well
against. Here was a teenager doing it. Over, and over, and over again.
switched places. It wasn’t just the wickets that he took, but how silly
Ponting looked in them. His bat splayed weirdly. His balance leaving
him. He was always late. He was always trying to survive. At the other
end he would be Ponting, at Ishant’s end he was the soon-to-be-massacred
in Tests by Ishant. By then though, the bunny stuff had stuck. And so
it should. How many bowlers in Ponting’s career dominated him for a
minute, let alone a year?
64 runs in nine overs. He took two wickets, but even his mother would
find it hard to justify that spell. It was made worse by the fact that
his team-mates never took any of the Leicestershire players for more
than five an over.
did it with five short balls. He did it with pace. He did it with
energy. He did it with passion. He did it with all his flaws. He did it. He will forever be the bowler who bowled India to victory at Lord’s.
notice that there are some “jokes” in quotations throughout this piece.
When you google Ishant Sharma, ‘Ishant Sharma jokes’ is the third
There is much history to make fun of. Little of it can be realistically
unlucky. Ishant is a bad bowler. Ishant is a 25-year old Indian quick
who just took 7 for 74 at Lord’s to win a Test.
Today the joke was on England.