A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ishant Sharma eyes return within a couple of months

Sharma is hoping to work on his strengths and weaknesses before he makes his return

India pace bowler Ishant Sharma has revealed that he still needs about two to three months more to fully recover from having his ankle surgically repaired in March.

Sharma, who is a huge part of India’s bowling attack, is starting to regain his match fitness and is even bowling four over spells.

Speaking exclusively to a news channel, Sharma said: “I am feeling strong and good again, and have even started to bowl four-over spells.”

However, the fast bowler knows that his road to recovery still has a long way to go before he will be able to make his international return.

“Intensity of bowling and fitness has to increase gradually, and I would also need some match practice to check myself. I think I will take two or three months more to regain match fitness,” Sharma said.

India will play against Sri Lanka later this month, before playing host to New Zealand in August and then travelling to England in October to take on the English.

Sharma, decided to go ahead with the surgery after India’s dismal tour to Australia, which resulted in him missing the Indian Premier League (IPL).

When asked about whether he underwent surgery at the correct period of time, Sharma said: “I had to look at the long term rather than short term, and I knew surgery was the best option if I had to play for a long time. The key was to be fit in time for the new season and my rehab is progressing well.”

But, before he makes his international return, Sharma wants to play in domestic matches in order to work on his strengths and weaknesses.

“It was only after 30 Tests that I came to know about my exact fitness levels and my bowling, its strength and weaknesses. Fast bowling is 70% fitness and the rest is skill. Earlier when I used to bowl after a long gap, the legs always felt a bit of pain. But this is not happening post surgery. I want to prove myself in domestic cricket before returning to the Indian team. More bowling, more fitness is my mantra right now,” he said.

Sharma, who is current 23, has represented India in 45 Tests, where he has taken 133 wickets at an average of 37.87, and has also played 47 ODIs, taking 64 wickets at an average of 32.12.

The pace bowler was highly ineffective during India’s tour of Australia, as he amassed only five wickets in the four Test series.

“I think I bowled well in the Tests against England and was unlucky to get injured thereafter, thus missing a chance to cement my place in the ODI team. My form against West Indies at home was also good, but somehow could not carry it to Australia,” he said.

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