Virat Kohli was happy with India’s 31-run win over Australia in the 1st Test and so was coach Ravi Shastri. But there was someone angry in the Indian camp, not with India’s performance but with their own.
The Indian captain revealed at the post-match press conference that Ishant Sharma was not at all happy with the no balls he bowled during the 1st Test.
“Ishant was the most pissed off right now. We were all celebrating but he was really, really angry with himself and we asked him why and he said, ‘I cannot afford to bowl a no-ball being a senior guy and having played so much cricket in the crunch situation when the umpire could have given that out’,” Kohli said.
“So that could have been the difference at a more important stage in the series.”
Ishant was unlucky not to bag a wicket in the very first over of Australia’s chase when he trapped Finch LBW off his second delivery.
Umpire Kumar Dharmasena raised his finger but the Australian opener decided to call for a review which revealed that Ishant had overstepped.
Ishant bowled another no-ball to Shaun Marsh in the 51st over and another unfortunate no-ball denied him another wicket. He had rapped Nathan Lyon on pads only for Dharmasena to lift one hand halfway and call the delivery unfair. Lyon let sighed relief as the television reviews showed that ball would have gone onto to hit the stumps.
Ishant ended the match, with just three wickets, the fewest of the strike bowlers, as Mohammed Shami finished with five wickets from the game, while Jasprit Bumrah and Ashwin both took six wickets.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting had criticised the on-field umpires for not noticing no-balls, saying, “I honestly don’t think the umpires look at the front line anymore.”
Ponting also said that the Indian camp would be right to feel disappointed with the umpiring, as if they had pointed out Ishant’s no-balls earlier, it would not have cost them a wicket.
Kohli though said he was confident Ishant would come back stronger in the next Test, which starts from December 14 to be played at the new stadium in Perth.
“It’s not a school-team environment. So, look, guys take ownership of those things but they can commit mistakes. As long as the attitude is right, we look to correct those mistakes.
“So this incident that’s happened, I am sure Ishant is going to be obsessed about not doing it again, just like how we improved our batting straight away in the second innings at the top of the order. Guys want to learn as soon as they can, take responsibility themselves, and they are not hiding from it.
“It’s not a case of not wanting to talk about it, but they are unhappy themselves that they made a mistake at a crunch situation and, come that situation again, they don’t want to do it. So that’s the most you can ask from any player playing for their country and that’s certainly the right attitude to have.”