Former Australian great Glenn McGrath feels Ishant Sharma has to figure out his role

McGrath said Sharma needed to hit the seam more often.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath feels Indian speedster Ishant Sharma has to figure out his role in the team and is of the opinion that the latter has been used more as a workhorse than a strike bowler. The Pigeon, who was not to be known to be kind when it came to bowling to India during his playing days, spoke on other issues related to India’s current team and their ongoing series with England where they are trailing 0-1.

Sharma had an impressive outing in the Birmingham Test as he claimed seven wickets, including a fifer in the second innings. He has been a hopeful for India for many former players who felt that despite being in service for a long time now, the lanky 29-year-old pacer has not evolved as the spearhead.


Speaking on the sidelines of a fast bowlers’ camp in New Delhi organised by Haryana Cricket Association and MRF Pace Foundation, 48-year-old McGrath said: “When Ishant started off, he took the world by storm bowling good pace. He is probably not bowling at the same pace. But he is much more experienced now with good control. The Edgbaston Test showed that Ishant has started adapting a bit more,” a Times of India report said.

McGrath, who has taken 51 wickets against India in just 11 Tests, however, was a bit sympathetic towards Sharma and said that bowling on the sub-continent wickets might have made things a bit challenging for the fast bowler, who has 244 wickets from 83 Tests and is the second most successful in the Indian side touring England after Ravichandran Ashwin (323 wickets from 59 Tests).

Ishant needs to hit the seam more often

As a piece of advice, McGrath said Sharma needed to hit the seam more often and spoke against bowling short of the length which he said is more of a strategy to restrict the runs, adding that one needed to take wickets as well.

He also had a word of praise for the right-arm pacer as he thinks that Sharma benefitted during his stint with Sussex this year where he played under the tutelage of former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie – one of McGrath’s mates.

The former Australian bowler, the fast bowler with the highest number of Test wickets among pacers, also said that India’s tactic of persisting with the same bowling attack has helped it gain in confidence. McGrath, who had an intense rivalry with Sachin Tendulkar in the past, however, was disappointed with India’s batting display in the first Test and said it is perhaps not as settled as their bowling.

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