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Ishant Sharma: I missed the 2015 World Cup because of my very high pain threshold

Ishant Sharma's high pain threshold
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ishant Sharma has revealed how he felt he was “cheating the team” and took several injections to go through a Test match, an act that ultimately made him miss the 2015 ODI World Cup.

Ishant is just the second India fast bowler to play 100 Test matches after Kapil Dev. He made his Test debut in 2007 and was last seen in Indian whites in the Kanpur Test against New Zealand in 2021.

Ishant’s longevity has been the hallmark of his Test career. Having started off as a wiry teenager who could touch 90mph, Ishant went through various stages in his Test career. Under MS Dhoni, he was predominantly a defensive bowler who used to bowl long spells and tie one end up, while under Virat Kohli, he transformed into a wicket-taking beast as India’s fast-bowling stocks took off.


Speaking on The Ranveer Show, Ishant spoke at length about his career. One of the things he touched upon was his fitness and endurance levels. Ishant revealed that he has a very high pain threshold and it led to him missing the 2015 ODI World Cup.

“My pain threshold is very high. I missed the 2015 World Cup because of this. We were playing a Test series (in Australia). It was Mahi bhai’s (MS Dhoni’s) last test match and I suddenly had pain in my knee.

“Shami and Umesh were bowling and Ashwin was the third [bowler]. I saw that they were also tired and thought, ‘How long will they bowl?’ So I told my physio, ‘Please call a doctor and get me an injection.'”

The match Ishant is referring to is the Melbourne Test between India and Australia in 2014. Australia had scored 530 runs in the first innings and had batted for 142.3 overs across the first two days.

Ishant said that he had to take several injections to go through that Test match: “I was taking an injection every session. We bowled five sessions and I took six injections. Because I could not see that my team was losing because of me.

“It ultimately proved to be harmful. Duncan Fletcher was our coach at that time. He used to say, ‘Don’t take the injections, the World Cup is coming up.’ But I told him the same thing, ‘I feel like I am cheating the team (if I am not bowling).'”

Ishant ended up bowling a total of 52 overs in that Test match for figures of 2-153. The match was drawn and Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket immediately after that game.

Ishant didn’t feature in the next Test, the last one of the series in Sydney, and was subsequently ruled out of the ODI World Cup that followed. India had to name Mohit Sharma as his replacement, who did decently, taking 13 wickets in eight games at an average of 24.15.

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