Kirsten awestruck by Ishant

New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) Ishant Sharma's arrival at the international scene was something that could not have gone unnoticed and Indian coach Gary Kirten admits that the moment he saw the lanky speedster bowling at Perth he was awestruck by his abilities.

''The moment I saw Ishant bowl his first ball at Perth, I was completely impressed with him,'' Kirsten said here today.

Ishant first played for India in Australia earlier this year and since then there has been no looking back for the Delhi lad.

In recent past the Indian team has seen many young players who have created jitters not only in the opposition camp but in their own as well with their performances almost asking for a place in the team.

And, Ishant's name is right at the top in that list. The bowler has done what many experienced bowlers could only think about.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting is well aware of Ishant's abilities and has been a victim of his on a number of occasions.

''What impresses me most about Ishant is his love for Test cricket. He wants to bowl 25 overs a day which obvisiously is an indication of his fitness,'' Kirsten added.

With the experienced Zaheer Khan, whose current form has almost proved fatal for the Australian, Ishant has improved a great deal and the pace duo has become a potent force in world cricket.

''Zaheer and Ishant have been bowling very well and in Test matches you need to have a very balanced team.

''Both of them allow us to have a balnaced team and also help us in a good pace attack,'' the former South African opener said.

It was Zaheer's heroics at Mohali on the fifth day in which he picked three wickets in just four balls to cut short an Aussie come back in that match which looked almost certain to go India's way.

The Protea, when asked if it is the combination of Ishant and Zaheer what is making the difference between India and Australia, he said the two might not be the sole reason but looking at their performances, ''they definitely have made a difference.'' UNI RAR AB AS1802

Story first published: Monday, October 27, 2008, 18:34 [IST]
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