India’s most experienced fast bowler Ishant Sharma on Monday seriously hurt his ankle during a Ranji Trophy game. The incident happened just before the Test squad for the 2020 New Zealand tour announcement by the BCCI. India will be playing two Test matches between 21st February and 4th March.
This will be a blow for the Indian team, considering Sharma’s vast experience with the red ball, especially on the foreign soil. In the 96 Test matches (or 173 innings) that he has played, the veteran has amassed 292 wickets at an average of 32.7.
The pacer last featured in the historic Day-Night Test match Bangladesh that was held between 22-25 November last year. He was adjudged as the Man of the Match in the game for scalping 9 wickets as India won by an innings and 46 runs.
Ishant Sharma was bowling for the Delhi team against Vidarbha when the injury occurred. Although the extent of the injury is unknown, 31-year-old seemed to be in real pain as he hobbled his way off the ground with the support staff’s help.
— AISHVARYA JAIN (@aishvaryjain) January 20, 2020
The injury in question occurred during Ishant’s third over of Vidarbha’s second innings when the short delivery hit rival skipper Faiz Fazal’s pads tried after the latter failed to pull. Ishant loudly appealed for a leg before wicket before suddenly slipping.
He was seen to be writhing in pain and needed immediate medical help. In Vidarbha’s first innings, the Delhi pacer had taken three wickets for 45 runs. Expected to make it to the NZ squad, it was going to be Ishant’s last Ranji game of the season.
If he gets fit in time, Ishant’s next outing will be a practice match in Hamilton. However, in case the injury is serious in nature, the 6-foot 4-inch tall cricketer will join fellow pacers Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation.