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When an 18-year-old Ishant Sharma was left kit-less on his maiden ODI series

He eventually had to borrow Zaheer Khan's shoes to make his ODI debut.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Ishant Sharma made his debut for India in the Bangladesh Tests in May 2007 and in the very next month, the then 18-year-old pacer wore the national jersey in ODI cricket as well. However, during the limited-overs series in Ireland, he was left without his luggage after it got misplaced there.

The call-up surprised Sharma and he didn’t have the most memorable starts. After getting to know about the mishap, he enquired about it with the manager, who said that luggage would directly reach his home.

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Ishant wasn’t used to it since in the Ranji Trophy, he had to carry his own luggage. The speedster narrated the incident during a chat with Indian batsman Mayank Agarwal on the video series ‘Open Nets With Mayank’.

I was just standing during practice with folded hands: Ishant Sharma

“I called up the manager, an hour, two hours passed. The manager said, ‘The luggage will directly reach your hotel room’. I was like, ‘Wow, even this facility exists. I didn’t know! In Ranji Trophy, you are your own coolie (porter)!’,” Ishant was quoted as saying during the interaction.

Ishant explained how Rahul Dravid, the then Indian skipper, was left worried after getting to know about the mishap. In the end, the Delhi-born Sharma borrowed the shoes of Zaheer Khan to make his ODI debut at Belfast.

“Everyone was practising, I was just standing like this (hands folded). Rahul Dravid (came up to me and) asked me, ‘Ishant, why are you not bowling?’ I said: ‘Rahul bhai, I don’t have shoes’. He said ‘What?!,” he stated.

“I told him my bag never came. I put it on the flight, and it never came. He was like: ‘How can this happen, if you put it on the flight, how did it not come? How are you going to play tomorrow?’ Then I had to borrow Zaheer’s shoes and play the game. Imagine that,” Ishant added.

On debut, Ishant returned wicketless, conceding 38 runs in seven overs. Overall, in his career, the lanky pacer got 115 wickets in 80 ODIs. However, after 2016, he lost his place in the team and currently only plays Test cricket for Team India.

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