Ishant says his role is to contain with new ball
India fast bowler Ishant Sharma says the team is riding high on confidence following three consecutive victories against Australia and will be hoping to make it a 4-0 clean sweep in Delhi.
The hosts were desperate to get back to winning ways following the 1-2 series defeat to England late last year and they are doing it in style so far against an inexperienced Australian team, struggling to play spin.
"The mood in the camp is good and the confidence of all the players is quite good, because we are leading 3-0 against a team like Australia. We have won the matches by a big margin, so the confidence of the team is high and we will carry into the Delhi Test," said Ishant on Thursday, on eve of the fourth and final Test.
The fast bowler pointed out that India's dominant performances proves that home conditions play an important part. Around a year or so back, Australia had whitewashed India 4-0, but are now on the verge of facing that humiliation themselves.
"When we went to Australia we struggled a lot and everybody said we can't play away from home. Now you can see that even Australia can't play here. So the advantage of home conditions is quite big. Our home conditions suit spinners and Australia is weak against the spinners. That has been a big advantage for us," he said.
'I have got very less bowling'
Despite India performing so well, Ishant's performance with the ball is below par, just four wickets in three matches, a strike rate of 54.25.
The Delhi pacer defended his patchy performance in the series, saying the pitches have favoured spinners and, hence, he hasn't had enough bowling.
"As you saw in the last three Test matches, there was a lot of help for the spinners, so I have got very less bowling.
"It was only in the last match in Mohali that I got nearly 30 overs, but before that I didn't get much bowling," he said.
'The bowler at the other end gets wickets'
The 24-year-old clarified that his role is mainly to contain the batsmen and build pressure for the spinners to attack from the other end.
"I think when you play in India your role is different. Your role is to contain the flow of runs so that the spinners can attack from the other end. You got to hunt in a pack and bowl in partnerships. Like how you bat in partnerships, similarly, you have in bowling.
"When you bowl in partnerships you may not get wickets, but the bowler at the other end gets wickets," he said.
'Bhuvi is more effective with the new ball'
Young pace Bhuvneshwar Kumar, playing his first series, however, has been very impressive with the ball, claiming six wickets, at an average of 31.16. His three-wicket burst in the second innings of the Mohali Test played a big role in India's victory.
Ishant says Kumar is more effective with the old ball as he gets it to reverse swing, while doing a containing job with the new ball without trying for wickets early on.
"I feel Bhuvi's bowling is different to mine. Bhuvi is more effective with the new ball because he can swing it both ways.
"I don't get much swing in Indian conditions and I have to wait for the ball to get a bit old so that it reverse swings. Only after that I can attack, but till then my role is to contain," he said.