Ishant Sharma becomes 2nd Indian fast bowler to complete 100 tests milestone 

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Ishant Sharma finally completed his 100th test milestone becoming the 2nd Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to achieve this great landmark .

 It is a huge achievement for any fast bowler to play  100 tests for his country as out of all the disciplines in cricket , fast bowling is the most injury prone as there is a lot of wear and tear on the body due to physical strain on various muscles , knees, shoulders  and joints . Therefore we have seen only a handful of fast bowlers in the world who have completed 100 tests.  The major names of fast bowling 100th test club are Botham,  Anderson and Broad for England  , Walsh for West Indies , McGrath for Australia , Wasim Akram for Pakistan and Kapil Dev for India . Ambrose, Steyn and Zaheer Khan went very close to playing 100 tests .

Ishant made his test debut vs Bangladesh in 2007 . His first major bowling performance was against Pakistan on a flat deck at Bangalore where he took 5/140. Later in the same season in Australia , he proved to be a handful against Australian batters and had the great Ricky Ponting rattled with his pace , bounce and movement . In that same series he bowled the fastest delivery by an Indian at 152 kph and was constantly bowling above 140 kph and extracting bounce.  

He had his difficulties on Indian pitches where the onus was mostly on spin and also had his spells of poor form and loss of momentum in his action resulting being in and out of the test team . However he kept shouldering on and produced a great match winning spell vs England at Lords in 2014  taking 7/76 and rattling the England batting with his short deliveries . 

His disciplined and controlled seam bowling in the Australian test series of 2018 helped India to win a major  test series abroad.

Ishant became the 5th player in the history of cricket who played 100 plus tests but never played in the ODI world cup . The other four are : VVS Laxman , Colin Cowdrey , Alistair Cook and Justin Langer . 

With 302 wickets in previous 99 tests , Ishant looks good enough for a few more test series if he is able to maintain his fitness levels for a few more years . 

by Amitava Mukherjee

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