IPL 2017: Sehwag dials Ishant's number, unsold speedster gets Kings XI lifeline
One day before the start of the 10th season of Indian Premier League, senior speedster Ishant Sharma has been roped in by Kings XI Punjab as a replacement for opener Murali Vijay on Virender Sehwag's advice.
It will be a massive boost to his Twenty20 career after the setback at the players' auction.
Currently, India's senior-most pacer in the Test squad (77 matches), Ishant went unsold due to his high base price of Rs 2 crore.
"A couple of days back, Viru bhai called up and asked if I am free. That's how it worked out," Ishant told PTI after his first training session with the team.
Ishant said that he is fresher than some of the other pacers as he played only 5 of 13 home Tests this season.
In fact after the IPL snub, Ishant was looking for a county contract.
"I was not in a holiday mode. I was planning to play county cricket and was in search of a contract. In fact, when you don't get a team at IPL auction, you have to play somewhere," said the Delhi lad.
Over the years, Ishant has played for a number of franchises - Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiants.
The 28-year-old has 88 wickets from the 107 Twenty20 matches he has played and has an economy rate of 7.75 with a best bowling figures of 5 for 12.
Asked what exactly would he bring to the table, Ishant answered in one word.
"I would bring in experience. The amount of cricket that I have played for India has given me the experience of knowing what to do in various situations. I can pass on my knowledge to the youngsters," said Ishant.
Ishant, however, did not want to look too far ahead when asked if it brings him back into contention for the Champions Trophy.
"I don't want to look that far ahead at the moment. The Indian team's pace attack is doing well. After a long time we have such a quality pool of fast bowlers that even if someone is injured, you have a back-up.
"For me, it is more important to play as many games I can and try to win matches for my team," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)