Wellington, Feb 22 (IANS) Even though New Zealand are in a dominant position in the ongoing first Test, senior India pacer Ishant Sharma believes his team will make a strong comeback as it’s one of their “speciality”. At stumps on the second day, New Zealand had taken a 51-run lead in reply to India’s 165 and still have five wickets in hand.
“We have confidence that we can make a comeback. That has been the speciality of this team,” Ishant said on Saturday after the end of the day’s play at the Basin Reserve.
Ishant was the chief tormentor as he picked three crucial wickets and returned with figures of 3/31 in the 15 overs he bowled on the second day.
“It was not reversing. Actually, nothing was happening. I was not holding the ball on seam and trying different things. Kookabura after 40 or 50 overs, seam really gets soft, so you need to come hard and hit the length very hard. I started bowling cross seam,” said Ishant while talking about the post-lunch session.
“Actually, wicket became slow. It had tennis ball bounce at the start but when we bowled, there was no seam movement. Also for first timers, problem in Wellington is getting used to wind which is a big factor. People actually have little idea how to bowl with or against wind,” he added. Ishant’s performance was all more commendable considering the fact that three weeks ago, he was all but out of New Zealand series after suffering multiple ligament tears in his right ankle during a Ranji Trophy game. However, just seven days ago before the start of the Test series, he was declared fit. He travelled for 24 hours and arrived in Wellington 72 hours before the start first match.
Ishant, the veteran of 96 Tests, revealed that he slept barely for four hours in the past two days and thus struggled hard to deal with a “jet-lag”.
“I am not happy because I have not slept for two days and I was struggling a lot today (with my body). The way I would have liked to bowl, it did not happen. They asked me to play and I played. Anything, for the team,” he said.
“Not that I wasn’t happy with my bowling. I wasn’t happy with my body as I could only sleep for 40 minutes last night and day before the Test match, I slept for three hours,” said Ishant, narrating his struggles with jet lag.
“The more you can recover (from jet lag), the better effort you can put in on the ground. There’s no better recovery than sound sleep. The sounder your sleep is, the better your body will respond on ground,” he added.
The lanky pacer, who is the senior-most member in the team, further said he didn’t even think about playing the Test match, when he had sustained a freak injury.
“All credit goes to NCA support staff as they worked really hard with me. We never really thought I have to play a Test because my MRI shows I had a complete ligament tear, not one but two tears. People said ‘he is out for six weeks’,” he pointed.