India’s bowling coach Eric Simmons feels the tall and lanky Ishant Sharma could be a perfect answer to England fast bowler Chris Tremlett in the Test series starting later this month.
Simmons, a former South African fast bowler, said if Ishant controls the ball, like he is doing in the ongoing series against the West Indies, the 6′ 4″ fast bowler can come handy on the bouncy pitches of England.
“If he bowls with the control he has got now, Ishant can be a real handful in England. He has obviously got the height. His ability to get bounce out of a wicket from a fuller length is crucial. He is getting more confident now that his control is back. The no-balls are disappearing. He’s going to start finding the pace that he has. To try and bowl quicker when you haven’t got confidence is not going to work,” Simmons was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.com.
“I think now he’ll start bowling consistently at 140kph, 141, 142, and that’s just going to add to his strength. The only thing is he can drift down leg now and then, but it is a minor issue,” he added.
Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott tipped the 6′ 7″ Tremlett to trouble the Indian batsmen with his bounce and pace. Boycott said Tremlett reminds him of three greats – Curtley Ambrose, Joel Garner and Glenn McGrath.
Simmons, like Boycott, also feels that pace spearhead Zaheer Khan can trouble England captain Andrew Strauss.
“He has the ability to knock over Andrew Strauss during a crucial moment in the game against England at the World Cup, and to take crucial wickets in a Test when the ball starts reversing and the match is going nowhere,” he said.
Simmons said that Zaheer had taken the right step but opting out of the Test series in the West Indies for rest.
“He also understands his body really well. He picks up on niggles very early. At times something could have grown more serious, but he picked it up early and pulled himself off. He has the ability to fix things. Now even Ishant has started to do that. I used to tell Ishant that his front arm was going over, that he was falling over. Now he is fixing things himself. Zaheer has the ability to fix things in the middle, and not wait for tea or lunch break. His break has been a blessing in disguise. He has played a lot of cricket. He went into the IPL from the World Cup. That must have been difficult,” he said.