Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has stated that there are no fitness concerns around seasoned pacer Ishant Sharma after he bowled a sub-par spell during the second day of the third Test. He also added that it depends on the captain as to how many overs does a bowler gets to deliver in a day.
After getting bundled out for 78 in the first innings, India's misery continued in the bowling department as Joe Root's 121 powered England to 432, helping them gain a lead of 354 runs at Headingley. Ishant Sharma, who had made a terrific comeback in the Lord's Test, had a poor outing as he sent down 22 overs for 92 runs sans a wicket and had a poor economy rate of 4.2. India had opened the bowling with the experienced pacer on both days but he was quite disappointing, to say the least.
There were also injury concerns around the lanky Indian pacer. However, Shami cleared the air and pointed out the fact that Ishant bowled the first and last over of the innings and had no fitness concerns whatsoever.
"See when sometimes the ball doesn't come well off the bowler's hands or if the team has been on the field for a long time, the captain starts giving short spells of 3-4 overs. You don't need to bowl 7-8 over spells consistently in Test matches. You must have seen that Ishant started the innings and ended it as well. So, there are no doubts about his fitness. It's just that the captain has to see which bowler needs recovery, how many overs to give, how many short or long spells to give. It's the captain's call and not the bowler's," Shami stated at the end of day 2 in Leeds.
Meanwhile, Shami was the pick of the bowlers and had figures of 87/3 from 26 overs at the culmination of day two's play. He dismissed Rory Burns, Jonny Bairstow, and Jos Buttler, providing India with much-needed breakthroughs throughout. He said that it was very important for the bowlers to keep toiling hard and remain composed even during difficult spells.
"It's your responsibility that, even when a big partnership develops, you should not put your head down. It's your job. You have to try and take that wicket. You have to keep planning in your mind how to get the batsman out,’’ asserted Shami.
"There are lots of things that can be tried. If you put your head down, the partnership will only become stronger and bigger. Instead, if you manage to get a breakthrough, it will open up more options for the team," he added before signing off.