Much-reviled pacer Ishant Sharma took 7/74 at Lord's, London on the 5th Day of the second test against England on Monday. Consequently, India secured a 95-run win over the home team, it's first such win at Lord's in 28 years.
Ishant Sharma, who made his debut in 2007, has forever struggled for any kind of consistency in the international arena. Though he seems to bowl well, he rarely takes wickets. This has led to experts calling him 'unlucky'. However, a genuine pace bowler who bowls well cannot be merely 'unlucky' all the time, and thus the term 'Unlucky Ishant' has been used by Indian cricket fans of late to ridicule the 6'4" tall beleagured pacer.
Following Ishant's stupendous performance at Lord's though, #Ishant was the second top trend in India. Many users were full of praise for him:
— V¡n¤†h?VJ (@Nanbanvinoth) July 21, 2014
— Parvesh Sharma (@ParveshSharma) July 21, 2014
And finally we will not have 2 go back 2 #Ishant's spell 2 Ponting way back in 2008. He has conquered Lords & I hope we see more such spells
— ThatCricketGuy (@MikkhailVaswani) July 21, 2014
#Ishant Sharma An Indian teaching the cricketing world a thing or two about aggressive fast bowling on foreign soil. Unbelievable!!
— nirrej (@nirrej) July 21, 2014
Others though, were not so joyous in their assessment of Ishant's performance:
Ishant Sharma is appointed as Delhi BJP CM candidate after stunning performance 7 wicket haul , next target 70 out of 70. #Ishant
— Phantom (@Mogambo_) July 21, 2014
— rohit bharadwaj (@_rohit_g) July 21, 2014
— ?Ruba Gs (@GsRuba) July 21, 2014
A secret source from BCCI has just confirmed that #Ishant Sharma is selected for next 50 test matches.
— Ishant Sharma (@AbhijeetAsawat) July 21, 2014
— Shubam Jain (@sjsoupboy) July 21, 2014
So the Ishant Sharma jokes will continue for a while, unless the pace bowler puts in a few more inspired performances. An average of 37 (which was closer to 38 before this match) over 56 matches is not a good return for an international pace bowler by any stretch of imagination. Let's hope Ishant can show the kind of consistency he has shown this year, in future as well.