Australia series helped me get back my rhythm: Ishant
India pacer Ishant Sharma feels that he has got his "rhythm back" in the recently-concluded home Test series against Australia after spending the better part of last year on the sidelines due to ankle surgery.
"I think I am slowly getting back into my rhythm. I am pretty happy with my performance against Australia. Although, I couldn't do much in the first couple of Tests, I did well in the last two matches.
"Overall, I am satisfied with my performance," said the lanky fast bowler, who finished with seven wickets from the four-Test series.
He has received a lot of flak having got only 144 wickets from 51 Tests but the 24-year-old is reasonably happy about how his international career has panned out so far.
"I think I have done reasonably well in my career so far. I hope to continue to do well. In India, the wickets are not too conducive for pace bowling," Ishant said.
Image: Ishant Sharma
'Concentrated on reverse swing'
Ishant said he and his pace bowling partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar complemented each other in the team.
"I concentrated in getting the reverse swing with the old ball (against Australia). Bhuvneshwar swings the new ball and he has done well. For me, it was more about containment with the new ball and wait for old ball," he said.
Ishant feels that talented pacers should be nurtured with a lot of care and qualified support staff (physios and trainers) should take good care of them.
"It is important to have physios and trainers. They play an important part in the career of fast bowlers," he said.
The Delhi lad didn't play too many ODIs in the last three years but his hopeful of breaking into the India squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in June and a limited overs away series in Zimbabwe.
"I am hoping that I can be in the squad for the Champions Trophy and then the Zimbabwe ODI tour. Then there is the Test series in South Africa which would be one but that is some time away and I am not thinking about that," he said.
Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
'A good mix of experienced players and youngsters'
Ishant will be playing for Hyderabad Sunrisers in the upcoming sixth edition of IPL and is hopeful that the franchise will do well.
"We have a good mix of experienced players and youngsters. Most of the players have been in the team (Deccan Chargers) before it was taken over by another owner and named Hyderabad Sunrisers," he said.
Asked about the prospect of bowling again against former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who is captaining Mumbai Indians and with whom he had a fascinating contest in his debut season in 2007-08, Ishant said, "In IPL, I am going to bowl just four overs and it's difficult to say who would win a contest between a batsman and a bowler. It can go either way."
Image: Ishant Sharma