Cardiff: Who will spearhead the Indian pace attack during the ICC Champions Trophy? Ishant Sharma is certainly not putting his hand up right now. His Indian Premier League performance for Sunrisers Hyderabad not worth a mention, Ishant's confidence will be tested over the next fortnight here in the United Kingdom.
Former Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram very recently compared Ishant's career to that of Mohammed Sami. Both had great starts, promised to take control of the new-ball attack but then fortunes nose-dived. Injuries and a general lack of self-belief scuppered their careers, but life has given Ishant many chances.
"The conditions here are just right for me. For both batsmen and bowlers it's going to be a challenge," Ishant said in a chat. The lanky pacer wasn't impressive in India's first warm-up match against Sri Lanka in Birmingham on June 1. Ishant leaked 41 runs in his six overs, but he can be forgiven for the fact that the Edgbaston track was an old and slow one that favoured the batsmen. The match, which India won by five wickets, produced close to 700 runs.