Ishant's 'thirst for knowledge', Pujara's work ethics impress Gillespie

Jason Gillespie. Photo: Wikipedia commons
Former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie was very impressed with Ishant Sharma's "thirst for knowledge" when he played English county under his coaching, despite being an established international cricketer.


Ishant played for Sussex in 2018 with Gillespie as the coach.


"You know what really struck me about Ishant was his thirst for knowledge, his willingness to listen, ask questions, try new things, because sometimes you can get senior players, experienced players who will just go about and do their thing," Gillespie said on a chat-show Cow Corner Chronicles aired by YouTube.


In fact, during the last first-class season, Ishant acknowledged that every one spoke about his problems but it was Gillespie who provided solutions.


"They know what they need to do and that's fine. But Ishant was very much...he knew what he needed to do to bowl well. He also knew he wanted to get better," remarked Gillespie.


Ishant Test cricket record


Ishant has picked picked 297 wickets from 97 Tests at an average of 32.39 with 11 five-wicket haul. His best bowling performance is 7-74 against England during 2014 India tour at Lord’s cricket ground.

 India toured England later that season in 2018 and Gillespie felt Ishant was better for the experience.


"Knowing that he had an opportunity at Sussex, knowing that India were going to be playing in England, later on, I think he saw it as a very good opportunity, to learn and bowl in English conditions, and test himself. Look he was fantastic with us at Sussex, added Gillespie.


Ishant’s impact on Sussex players


Gillespie also said that Ishant made an impact on the players in Sussex.


"The Sussex players were really impressed with Ishant's work ethic. They loved his personality. He fitted in really well in the dressing room. His work ethic in the nets, or on the track was phenomenal. It was really good for our young seam bowlers at Sussex to see, that this is what it takes for a Test bowler," he added.


Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo: Reuters
Gillespie on Cheteshwar Pujara 
  • We had Pujara at Yorkshire, when I was head coach there. We needed a batsman in the top three who could do a job for us in sometimes challenging conditions, someone with a very good temperament, someone who could absorb some very good bowling.
  • Pujara fitted that bill perfectly (during his first stint with Yorkshire in 2015). He found it a challenge, the early season in county cricket with the duke cricket ball moving around in English conditions. He found that a challenge. I think that was really a good test for him as a player. A good learning curve for Cheteshwar.
  • I think he grew as a player. He learnt more about his game. He adapted to conditions in England which can be quite challenging for top three-top four batsmen at the best of times. So, I thought he did wonderfully well, Gillespie signed off. 

Pujara Test record


Pujara has scored 5,840 runs in 77 matches at an average of 48.67, including 18 centuries, 25 fifties and three double centuries. His highest individual score is 206, which he scored during England tour of India in 2012 at Ahmedabad.


Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar stride out to bat for the International XI against Pakistan in an earthquake relief fund charity match in 2006. This columnist’s World XI, however, has space only for Lara. File Photo: Reuters
Sachin was harder to dislodge than Lara: Gillespie


It was difficult to get both of them out, but Sachin Tendulkar was a bit harder to dislodge than Brian Lara, said former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie.


The Aussie rated Indian batting legend Tendulkar along side West Indies' Lara as the toughest batsman to dismiss in his career.


"Two different types of players, two equally difficult to get out. I always felt, Sachin was probably a little bit harder to dislodge, in terms of getting his wicket, but I didn't feel he would take you apart, in quite the same way as Brian.


"I always felt I was in with more of a chance to get Brian out because he was a bit more expansive, with his game. But I found Sachin's defence was very hard to get through," Gillespie said on Cow Corner Chronicles.


"Look two fine players, I am just really glad that I don't have to bowl to them anymore. They were just far too good. It was actually for me personally was quite an honour, for all those names that I just mentioned.


"It's quite an honour for me to be able to sit here and talk to you and say that I bowled against these guys.


"It was a wonderful time to be a cricketer, got to bowl against the best in the world. For me that was very satisfying," added Gillespie.

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