Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team dominated proceedings on day 2 of the Adelaide Test against Australia. Ishant Sharma provided further cheer to the Indian camp by removing Aaron Finch for 0 with a magnificent in-ducker in the very first over of the innings. However, there was greater joy for the Delhi pacer in the last session as he got rid of Australian cricket team captain Tim Paine for 19 in the final session. The wicket of Paine, in addition to Finch, helped Ishant reach 50 wickets in Tests against Australia. Ravichandran Ashwin was the star with three wickets as Australia were left reeling. Ashwin was given good support by Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah as the hosts found the going tough on a sluggish wicket.
Ishant is the ninth Indian bowler to take 50 wickets in Tests against Australia. However, he is also the second slowest to reach that milestone, taking 23 wickets to reach the landmark but much quicker than South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who took 28 Tests. Before Ishant, the other Indian bowlers who have taken 50 wickets in Tests against Australia are Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Kapil Dev, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Erapalli Prasanna, Bishan Singh Bedi and Shivlal Yadav.
Kumble is the only Indian bowler to take over 100 wickets, with the former legspinner taking 111 wickets in 20 Tests. Among pacers, Kapil Dev is the clear leader with 79 wickets while Zaheer managed to take 61 wickets but played only six Tests in nine years Down Under.
Ishant’s success Down Under
The tall right-arm pacer has a poor record in Australia, averaging over 57 and possessing a strike-rate close to 100 in 11 Tests. His best haul was 3/38 in the Brisbane Test in 2014 but Ishant has had one of his finest moments in Tests in Australia. It happened in the 2008 series and it was in Perth.
India set Australia a target of 413 and in the second innings, a spell from Ishant propelled him into the limelight. After bowling seven consecutive overs, Ishant looked tired but on Virender Sehwag’s insistence, Anil Kumble asked, “Ek aur over karega (Will you bowl one more over)?” Ishant replied, “Haan, karunga (Yeah, I will)”. On the next ball, he got Ponting out again and India went on to win the match by 72 runs. Ishant’s spell to Ponting was a memorable occasion for all fans present at the WACA.