India fast bowler Ishant Sharma might have acquired the reputation of bumping off top batsmen like Ricky Ponting but he thanks his stars for not having Sachin Tendulkar as an opponent.
"Sachin Tendulkar is one batsman who is not easy to bowl to. Be it in nets or in the middle, he always bats as if he is playing a match. I am thankful to god that I play in his team. His experience is equal to my age," Ishant said.
The gangling Delhi pacer said besides Tendulkar he also enjoys the batting of Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Mathew Hayden.
"Other than Sachin and Ponting, my favourite batsmen are Matthew Hayden and Rahul Dravid," he said.
Ishant said he is trying to bowl fast consistently but also focusing on maintaining the right line and length to keep the batsmen in check.
"I am trying to bowl at 100 mph but what is more important is which areas I hit. If you get that speed but the delivery is short- or over-pitched and ball goes across the boundary than there is no use of it.
"Instead, if I bowl at 140-145 kph and swing it, batsmen could be in trouble," he told NDTV.
"I know my limitations and try to be in my limits," he added.
The 20-year-old fast bowler also said he does not believe in experimenting in the match and relies on whatever he has practised in the nets.
"You should try in a match only what you have practised in the nets. You should not try new things straightaway while playing for the country.
"I was not a swing bowler but the one who would hit the deck and even today I try only that, but it is my good luck if ball gets movement," he said.
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Ishant said he could not credit his success to a single individual as Zaheer Khan, Venkatesh Prasad and coach Gary Kirsten all helped him on various occasions but singled out the South African for his mature approach.
"Kirsten is a very nice coach. He understands the strength of each and every member of the team," Ishant said.
"Recently in Delhi, I had dropped Michael Clark and also could not bat as the night-watchman but Kirsten said 'in the last one year this is your first mistake. It was you bad day. Tomorrow will be a new day'.
"If your coach helps you come out of the bad phase, he is a good coach," he added.
On the upcoming two-Test series against England, Ishant said, "I will try to repeat my performance against the Australia when I had picked wickets when required.
"We will use reverse swing weapon against England also. We'd used that against Aussies. You should know how to reverse swing if you are playing in the sub-continent," he said.
"In the sub-continent it is easy to bowl if you know reverse swing, you should know how to adapt to the conditions," he added.