Kohli-Pandya partnership important for us, says Ishant Sharma

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Kohli-Pandya partnership important for us, says Ishant Sharma

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SportsCafe Desk

01/15/2018

Ishant Sharma has stated the next partnership between Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya will be important as it could take the game away from South Africa. The fast bowler also revealed that he was on course to start in the first Test in Newlands before an illness forced him to sit out in Cape Town.

India ended the second day hanging by a thread at a paltry score of 183/5, with Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya still on the crease. While the skipper looks well-settled at 85, the hard-hitting all-rounder has just started his course at 11. After India managed to limit South Africa at 335 with some fantastic bowling, they would want to reduce the margin as much as possible. And Ishant Sharma believes that the next partnership between Kohli and Pandya will be quintessential to India’s success in this Test. 

“I think it's pretty important partnership, obviously, because the way Virat is playing it is totally a different game. If Hardik gets going he can take the game away from the opposition. After tea yesterday, the run out from him was a game changer for us. He backs his strength totally and I am hopeful they will take the game away from South Africa," said Sharma.

"The balance is there currently. If Virat and Hardik have a good partnership then tomorrow's (Monday) morning session is going to very important for us. And it is vital how we play tomorrow. That is very important for us. It was a pretty even day because we bowled them out pretty easily for 335 runs. On this kind of a wicket I think this was a good effort by the bowlers and we are at 183 for 5, so I think it was a pretty even day for both the teams."

Though the team management has received a lot of stick after going with Ishant Sharma over Bhuvneshwar Kumar in this Test, the Delhi bowler revealed that he was in the management’s starting eleven since the very beginning before he fell ill.

“I was supposed to play the first Test but I fell ill as soon as we reached here. I wasn't fully recovered from fever so I didn't play the first game. I am the senior fast bowler of this team so I have to take responsibility. If I am ready to take those important wickets for the team, I am always up for it," Ishant said.

Ishant did really well to scalp three wickets in the first innings, two of which were of Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, conceding only 46 runs in 22 overs. In South Africa’s innings on the second day, he stated that he stuck to good line and length and got rewarded for just that.

“The game was opening up a bit because of runs in the first session on day one. So my effort was to keep bowling in good areas and bowl according to plans. I always believe in my strength and my strength is bounce, so I always try to bowl where I can finish my ball on the top of off stump. I think that's the best chance you give yourself to take more wickets and that's what I was doing," he said.

India also saw numerous misfields on Day 2 as they dropped four catches, which included two missed chances off Kagiso Rabada that robbed Ashwin of his five-wicket haul. However, Ishant didn’t see it as a big concern and assured there was no need to panic.

“We have coaches to talk about this and everybody is pointing it out. We don't have to react on all these things because it is part and parcel of the game. You know they are fielders, and they will take brilliant catches for us. They have taken brilliant catches for us in the past, and I am sure they will take in the future as well. So there is no need to panic," Ishant added.

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