NEW DELHI: Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath feels Ishant Sharma needs to figure out his role in the Indian team, observing that he has been more of a workhorse than a strike bowler.
Ishant had a good first Test against England, where he took seven wickets including a five-for in the second innings and the Aussie pace legend is happy that he is slowly adapting to conditions.
“When Ishant started off, he took the world by storm bowling good pace. He is probably not bowling at the same pace. But he is much more experienced now with good control. The Edgbaston Test showed that Ishant has started adapting a bit more,” McGrath told PTI on the sidelines of fast bowlers’ camp organised by Haryana Cricket Association and MRF Pace Foundation.
However, McGrath acknowledged the fact that playing on sub-continent tracks might have contributed to a not so impressive record of Ishant, who has taken 244 wickets in 83 Tests.
“I guess a lot of pitches in India are tough to play on. Probably, he didn’t bowl that many spells. May be, he has been used more as a workhorse rather than an attacking bowler. I think he needs to find in what role he fits in,” said the Aussie pace legend, who has 563 wickets in 124 Tests.
Ishant’s stock ball is the one angled into the right-hander but he has not got enough balls to straighten.
For someone, who was immaculate with his top of off-stump line, McGrath believes that Ishant will need to hit the seam more often.
“You have got to hit the seam and may be a bit of movement off the pitch will help. My weapon was bounce and occasionally bit of seam movement. In my case, there was Warnie, Lee and Gillespie bowling from other end to build pressure.
“I liked bowling long spells and that helped. If you are only bowling short of length always, you are looking at stopping runs but you need to take wickets.”
He feels that a month and a half month at Sussex under former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie has helped him evolve as a bowler.
“If you are bowling same lengths in India, Australia and England, you can’t be successful. In England, where the ball swings, you have got to be a bit fuller, so his stint at Sussex did him a world of good.