In a bid to add experience to a young bowling line-up, Kings XI Punjab today roped in Ishant Sharma on Virender Sehwag's advice after the senior speedster went unsold at the IPL auction.
It will be a massive boost to his Twenty20 career after the setback at the players' auction. But everything seems fine now - especially after Sehwag welcomed him in typical style, with a tweet making fun of 'that face' he made during the India vs Australia series.
Thanks paaji !!! And first you have to make the same expression tomorrow in the practice session 😜 https://t.co/hTZTPtC9sq— Ishant Sharma (@ImIshant) April 4, 2017
That's the difference Burj Khalifa ji.We have to "Make" that expression. Making that expression itself is a practice session. https://t.co/kly3oG3G8x— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 4, 2017
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 at the auction.
"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.