The bouncer barrage: Ishant Sharma reveals chat with MS Dhoni during 2014 Lord’s Test – cricket
In 2014 India visited England for a five-match Test series looking to make amends for a disastrous tour in 2011 which saw MS Dhoni’s team get whitewashed 0-4 and lose its top billing in ICC’s Test ranking to the Three Lions. Not just that, the following year England visited India and stunned the hosts 2-1 to win a series on Indian soil after more than two decades.
So, the overarching tone in 2014 was that of revenge. Dhoni was still the man in charge but the team was in transition. The batting heavyweights of the past had made way for young blood. The likes of Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were part of the new breed.
The first Test in Nottingham was drawn and the action shifted to Lord’s where Alastair Cook’s England were expected to make a dent. James Anderson and Stuart Broad had the Indians dancing to their swing and seam but a classy century from the blade of Ajinkya Rahane propelled India to 295.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 6 wickets to ensure England managed to take only a 25-run lead. India’s top three and crucial partnership between Bhuvneshwar and Ravindra Jadeja helped India set a 300-plus target for the hosts. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami put India in the driver’s seat as the tourists needed just 6 wickets to win the match on the final day.
But a stubborn fifth wicket stand between Joe Root and Moeen Ali brought the hosts back in contention. It is at this stage that captain MS Dhoni asked Ishant Sharma to pitch the ball short and the rest as they say is history as India won a Test match at Lord’s after a gap of 28 years.
“At the end of the fourth day I had already dismissed Cook and Bell, Mahi bhai told us that from here no one will think of a draw. Obviously there was pressure on us on the last day. Moeen Ali and Root were playing bell so Mahi bhai asked me to start bowling short as nothing was happening. He told me to bowl short till we take the new ball. Just before lunch Moeen Ali was dismissed.
“While we were going in for lunch Mahi bhai told me that he will make me bowl in short spells and that I had to bowl short. I told him that now he should just let me bowl till the end of the match,” Ishant said on Gaurav Kapur’s Youtube show Isolation Premier League.
“After I bowled four overs on the trot, Mahi bhai asked me to take rest but I told him that there fuel in the car let it run,” Ishant said jokingly.
Ishant Sharma ended with figures of 7/74 and India won the match by 95 runs. But things went pear shaped for the team after that as they lost three matches on the trot to lose the series 1-3. India were beaten in England again in 2018, despite giving a tough fight. India last on a series in England in 2007.