Ishant gave credit to his Sussex experience for his performance in the first test match against England. He picked five wickets by conceding 51 runs on day 3 of the first test match at Edgbaston. In the first spell, he managed to collapse English innings by 86/6. Out of five wickets in the first spell, he picked three wickets and Ashwin dismissed two English batsmen. In the second session, he made another dismissal and by then England were 87/7.
He said that his county experience in the limited overs format for Sussex helped him a lot to pick quick wickets in the first test match. In England county cricket, in a four-day match, Ishant picked 4/52 and picked 19 wickets from the championship. In the Royal London ODI cup, he picked 8 wickets by bowling 44 overs out of six games.
He said “Playing country cricket made a big difference,”
Yes, I was somewhat disappointed too, but as the saying goes ‘what happens, happens for the better’. It was a good experience, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was good to bowl with the Dukes ball, but what really helped was having a lot of overs behind me. I only played four matches for Sussex, but I bowled over 200 overs [sic 114.3] in that time, and then played some one-daters, so it really helped.”
While his teammates were playing IPL, he played for Sussex. He finished first innings with a solitary wicket and made a five-wicket haul in the second innings. He commented on the views of folks about his bad luck. He said “I had been given this tag, of a bowler who keeps bowling and bowling but doesn’t get wickets, and I was tired of hearing that … that I keep bowling well but the wicket column doesn’t reflect it and that I kept playing so many Test matches,”
“I’ve worked really hard and now it feels good to have taken five wickets abroad, that too in the second innings, to put India in a good position. I have focused on taking wickets, not to earn that tag of a bowler who bowls well but doesn’t add to his wickets’ column.
This was his first five-wicket haul after five years. He is the bowler who made eight five-wicket hauls from 83 test matches. About his performance, he said that he could achieve this feat by maintaining proper line and length.
“Our plan, especially in the first innings, was to go target the left-handers, more so with my angle and the ability to move the ball away from them. My plan was to start from over the stumps but if the ball started to swing then straight away move around the stumps,”
“But then in our bowling meetings, our bowling coach told me to just come from around the stumps, because from that angle the batsmen would find it tougher. When I get into the rhythm and starting moving the ball, it becomes very tough for left-handers.” He signed off.