Ishant becomes third Indian pacer to take 300 Test wickets

Chennai: Veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma on Monday became the sixth Indian and third pacer from the country to take 300 wickets in Test cricket, joining legendary former India captains Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble after a “roller-coaster” ride.

Ishant reached the landmark when he trapped Dan Lawrence with a delivery that swung back sharply before hitting his pads in England’s second innings on the fourth day of the opening Test here.

Besides Kumble (619) and Kapil (434), Ravichandran Ashwin (377 before this game), Harbhajan Singh (417), and Zaheer Khan (311) are the other bowlers from the country who have reached the landmark.

The 32-year-old Ishant reached the milestone in 98 matches, more than the other Indian bowlers in the club.

“Quite a roller-coaster life so far. A lot of experiences, I’ve learned a lot about how to bowl in the subcontinent, and what lengths to bowl when we go abroad,” Ishant said at the end of the day’s play.

“Feeling a bit sore, just played four-over T20 games in domestic, and came back and straightaway bowled 35 overs.”

India were set a world record target of 420 to win the opening Test here and Ishant said his team is positive about it, especially after their incredible showings in Australia recently.

“If we get a good start tomorrow, I’m sure we can chase this down. We have a fearless batting line-up, and we’re very positive about this.

“First two days it felt like we were playing on the road, but on the fourth day it started turning a bit and we caught a bit of a break.

“Even on the first two days I thought we bowled well even though we weren’t getting much help,” Ishant added.

The BCCI and ICC joined some cricketers in congratulating the seasoned pacer who began his Test career way back in 2007.

“Congratulations @ImIshant. He becomes the third Indian fast bowler to take 300 Test wickets. He traps Lawrence in the front as England lose their third wicket,” the BCCI tweeted soon after he accomplished the feat.

The ICC also lauded the seasoned fast bowler’s achievement, coming after more than 13 years of toil.

“Ishant Sharma becomes the third India pacer after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan to reach the 300-wicket mark in Tests. What an achievement!” the game’s global governing body tweeted.

He has 11 five-wicket hauls and picked up 10 wickets in a match once. The lanky pacer’s spell to former Australian captain Ricky Ponting during his teenage years is still discussed in Indian cricketing circles.

Ashwin was the fastest to get there, taking only 54 matches, followed by Kumble (66), Harbhajan (72), Kapil (83) and Zaheer (89).

Ishant, who made his Test debut against Bangladesh, missed the four-match Test series against Australia due to a side strain and came back for the challenge against England.

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