It’s already started, after that lackluster ODI series against Australia, but the backlash will get worse after Ishant Sharma’s performance on Day 2 in the Motara Test. There’s nothing worse than seeing his mouth open, contorted into a grimace that reveals all his teeth, after being called for yet another no-ball. It’s unbelievably frustrating, not least because the umpire calls it out loudly, and he has to repeat deliveries with a very long run-up.
It’s sad, because only a year ago, this man was heralded as the much-needed ammunition for a flagging pace attack. Since then, he’s lost his pace and intimidation, even though his in-swinger looks intact for now.
Sharma’s problems remind me of Irfan Pathan’s earlier, and both players’ experience suggest Team India isn’t as good an incubator of talent as it could be. I had hoped that with a younger line-up and a younger captain, things would move past what John Wright encountered in the early 2000s, when senior veterans would have the little blokes fetch tea for them. But perhaps that’s not the case. We need some management consultants here!