India speedster Ishant Sharma has played more Tests for India than any pace bowler now and eyeing to join the former captain Kapil Dev in the 100-Tests club if India’s tour of Australia will take place according to the schedule later this year.
However, Sharma has played 80 ODIs and last featured in January 2016. While proving his worth several ties in the longer format, he hasn’t given up his dream to feature in the 50-overs format and is still expecting a place in the World Cup squad as well.
“Obviously, I would love to play in a World Cup,” he said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo while talking to Deep Dasgupta in an episode of Cricketbaazi. “Actually, I want to be part of a World Cup-winning team, as it will be a different feeling altogether. We are playing the World Test Championship, which is equivalent to a World Cup in Test cricket, but you realise that not a lot of people follow it, while an ODI World Cup is widely followed.”
Sharma has 297 Test wickets in 97 games at an average of 32.39 who has sometimes faced criticism for a relatively high average. He’s near to 300 Tests wickets and a stunning last two years have worked for him too. But he said that average never bothered him. He also said that former India captain MS Dhoni has backed him.
“MS Dhoni (the captain when Sharma’s numbers were middling) always backed me,” Sharma said. “Even after my first 50-60 Tests, he never said we’ll look for someone to replace you. To tell you the truth, even after playing 97 Tests, I still don’t understand things like average and strike rate! I’ve never bothered about these things. If I’m not able to understand them, why should I rely on them?”
Ishant Sharma further added, “It’s just a number after all. If I am bowling in India and the captain tells me to bowl in a way that I concede only 40 runs in 20 overs and that the spinners will take care of picking up wickets, that’s what is important to me. It doesn’t matter to me that my bowling average is around 37. My communication will be with my captain and that’s why Dhoni backed me.”