No Indian cricket fan can forget the moment when Ishant Sharma took the term ‘face-off’ literally in a battle against Australia batsman Steve Smith in Bengaluru. During what was an absorbing session of Test cricket on a pivotal day of a riveting Test series where the players seemed to be at their tussling best, and not just with the bat and the ball, Ishant’s mocking of Smith became a viral sensation.
Recalling that moment in a video interaction with India opening batsman Mayank Agarwal on bcci.tv, Ishant said it was just a case doing whatever he could to upset Smith’s rhythm.
“It was a close game and the pitch was doing things. We had to win the match after losing in Pune,” Ishant recalled. “People tend to do things when the emotions are running high and you do anything to upset the batsman. Whatever I could do to upset him, I just did that. Smith upsets the bowlers a lot, we know if we dismissed him, then we could go on to win the match. Even that day he was well set and we needed his wicket.”
“I was just trying to upset him and was thinking how to do it, I was just trying to get him out of his comfort zone. I was trying to make him uncomfortable,” he added.
It was not just Ishant’s reaction, even Kohli’s amused look caught everyone’s attention.
The Indian pacer, who has played 97 Tests, also said Kohli is a captain who loves it whenever any player shows aggression on the field but on one condition.
“Virat is an aggressive captain, he loves it whenever you show aggression, he said nothing. He always says do whatever you want to but make sure you don’t get banned because I was banned earlier in Sri Lanka once. That’s all he said,” Ishant added.
You can watch the full video here where Ishant talks about the Smith incident, his famous Test fifty against the West Indies recently and more: