Ishant targeting Lanka series to regain India spot

After missing out on a spot in the Indian team for Asia Cup, Ishant Sharma is eyeing the Test series in Sri Lanka to make a comeback to the Indian team.

updated: June 09, 2010 13:04 IST
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Omitted from the Asia Cup squad, out-of-favour speedster Ishant Sharma is targeting the subsequent Test series in Sri Lanka to stage a comeback into the Indian team.

"Selection is not in my hands. It is in the hands of the Board (selectors). I am currently focusing on the India-Sri Lanka Test series," said the 21-year-old bowler on the sidelines of a promotional event.

Sri Lanka will clash with India at home in a three-Test rubber from July 10-30.

The lanky pacer, who has struggled for form of late, said he was concentrating to improve his fitness and bowling.

"I am currently working on my fitness and my bowling. There are many who are giving me advice," he said.

"I have also spoken to Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj told me that I had the potential and just needed to push myself," the Delhi bowler said.

Ishant, who was not picked for the ongoing Zimbabwe tour and India A tour of England either, said he was going through a tough phase and was trying his best to overcome it.

"It happens to everyone. I am currently going through a tough phase. The important thing is to rise above the challenge and perform well," said the lanky paceman, who has 66 Test and 56 ODI victims.

Ishant also rubbished suggestions that he was good only in the longer version of the game.

"If I felt I was fit only for Test matches, I would not have played in the IPL, Twenty20s or ODIs," he said.

Ishant said he learned to bowl outswingers from former Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram, bowling coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders team, which he represented in the Indian Premier League.

"Wasim has worked very hard on me and also taught me to bowl outswingers which I had never bowled before. He also told me to always be a thinking bowler," he added.