Oddly enough Ishant Sharma has been making headlines since 2007 (eight years ago!), most famously for getting in the faces of opposition.
What justifies running your mouth in the gentlemen's game?
The answer is actually brutally simple, the Australian's do it. If there ever was a template to winning a game of cricket, "do what the Aussies do" sits right up there and it seems like the new age India has taken this on board perhaps a little too seriously. We have Kohli throwing f-bombs, Gambhir shoulder charging men twice his size, Dhawan doing mock limps in the outfield to belittle an injured batsman.
And we have Ishant.
Let's get one thing straight... this guy is a *terrible* bowler.
Unlike the other aforementioned examples of cocky young Indians, this is one of the worst players operating in the game today. A reliable gauge for a good bowler is the bowling average, anywhere around 30 can be considered good while below 25 is top drawer. Ishant averages 36.5, poor by anyone's standard.
For some odd reason however, he truly believes he is in the Brett Lee and Dale Steyn school of fast bowling, and so he finds himself constantly getting fined for launching into verbal tirades which are usually completely uncalled for. The critical difference is that yelling at a batsman when you're bowling figures are 1-100 is far less effective compared to say 1-23 (if Steyn's average is an example to go by).
So why does India persist with him?
Politics? But let's ignore favoritism for a moment because that's nothing but hearsay.
An answer is potential. In a desperate search for quality Indian fast bowlers this young lad sprung out of nowhere and flung down deliveries both accurate and quick, using his tall frame to generate hostile bounce which had even Ricky Ponting hopping around. It was almost old school West Indian like, it was raw and it was exciting. All the tools were there to become the next spearhead.
Unfortunately he faded away faster than a black pillow-case left in the sun, all that bustle and noise devolving into harmless Agarkar level fodder. There are odd glimpses, such as the current hostile spells which helped India win this series in Sri Lanka (who are about to have a rough few years), but the glimpses are fleeting as illustrated by his stats.
An equivalent of the long lost Mohammad Sami.
India hasn't had an answer since Kapil Dev, with only Javagal Srinath and the underrated Zaheer Khan offering years of good service but never quite scaling the heights they were capable of. Ishant is *capable* of plenty, but how much longer can you pick someone based on occasional rose tinted memories?
I'd sympathize more, if he'd just shut up and bowl.
The tough guy act fools nobody, sorry you're not intimidating until you have earned your stripes.
Your spells were impressive this time, good. How about half a dozen more?