When Virat Kohli had to kick Ishant Sharma off the bed
Ishant Sharma has achieved a milestone a handful of pacers have accomplished in the history of Test cricket. The journey of 100 Test matches started more than a decade ago and not many know that it was the Indian skipper Virat Kohli who broke the news to the pacer when both were teenagers trying to come up the ranks.
Virat Kohli shared an anecdote from the early days when Ishant was selected to play for the senior India side.
“I have known Ishant for many years now. He started playing state cricket with me. From his first season onwards, we've been roommates for many years in state cricket and Ranji Trophy cricket. When he got selected for India, he was fast asleep in the afternoon and I had to kick him off the bed to say that you have been selected and he wouldn’t believe me. So, that's how far we go back.”
“And I couldn't be happier for him, to play in 100 Test matches as a fast bowler is no mean feat. And especially playing in our conditions where things can get so difficult. But he persevered. He kept working hard,” said Kohli.
The RCB skipper also praised the tall pacer for the longevity, given the demands of the modern-day cricket.
“It's a great achievement in modern-day cricket. To maintain your body and play 100 Tests, it's rare to see a pacer have such longevity these days. He could have easily prioritised white-ball cricket but full credit to him that he didn't,” Kohli added.
“A lot of people even lose their motivation. He has the skills, if he wanted he could have improved his four-over, 10 over cricket and played in the IPL regularly, or presented himself in T20 and ODIs. But he gave his full commitment to Test cricket,” he added.