Smith's "well-bowled" taunts forced Ishant Sharma to produce "that" expression

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Smith's "well-bowled" taunts forced Ishant Sharma to produce "that" expression

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SportsCafe Desk

07/19/2017

Ishant Sharma has revealed that it was Steve Smith's recurring jibes about his bowling that resulted in him producing "that" expression in the Bengaluru Test earlier this year. Sharma also went on to credit MS Dhoni for his advice which resulted in the pacer's brilliant seven-wicket haul at Lord's.

Having won the first Test in Pune by an incredible 333 runs, Australia found themselves in complete control in the second match, after restricting India to just 189 in the first innings. The visitors were coasting at 58/1 when Smith and Sharma crossed paths. After the Aussie captain missed the Indian pacer's ball completely, the latter produced one of the best expressions on a cricket pitch, and needless to say, it went viral on social media.

Months after the incident took place, Sharma finally revealed that it had been Smith's constant jibes that had resulted in that "glorious" expression.

“He (Smith) kept saying ‘well-bowled mate’ whenever he sneaked a single against me during Pune Test, initially I wasn’t able to understand what he was saying because of the Australian accent it not easy to understand. It was after some time when I asked him what was he saying," Sharma told chat show 'What The Duck', reported Zee News. 

"He then told me that he was praising my bowling. Hearing this I told straight in his face ‘you never praised me when I bowled at you in Australia, only now you find my bowling good and praising my effort’.”

But the home series wasn't the only place that Sharma showed his true potential. In the 2014 tour of England, after drawing the first match at Trent Bridge, at Lord's, England outscored India in the first innings but a brilliant display by Murali Vijay (95) ensured that India were in with a fight. It was then that Sharma led the way with the ball as he went through the English line-up to record a memorable Indian victory.

However, Sharma refused to take full credit for the performance and brought up an interesting conversation he had with then captain MS Dhoni when India desperately needed a wicket.

“We weren’t getting wickets and the ball was 80-overs old and we weren’t getting any wicket, then Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) asked me to bowl short in the final over before lunch. I asked Mahi bhai what good it will be to bowl bouncers to English batsmen that too in English conditions. But he persisted me to at least give it a try. I followed his instructions and we got the wicket of Moeen Ali on the final ball before lunch,” Sharma recalled.

“Matthew Prior next came to bat, he again asked me to ball bouncers with the same old ball and he opened the field for me to bowl freely. It seemed as if we were playing in Asia and not in England. That is how I got the wickets in that Test and learnt a lesson that changing plans as per situation is very important in cricket.”

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