Ishant Sharma reveals why did he try to irritate Steve Smith in 2017 Bengaluru Test

Unnikrishnan G

Bengaluru, June 3: India and Australia have always engaged themselves in hard-nosed cricket especially from the turn of the 2000s. The home series held in India in 2017 was no exception, says veteran pacer Ishant Sharma.

Australia had won the first Test of that series at Pune by a massive margin of 333 runs with Steve Smith making a hundred and spinner Steve O'Keefe grabbing wickets on a dustbowl. But victories at Bengaluru and Ranchi helped India squeeze out a 2-1 series win.

But the series saw some skirmishes on the field between Smith and Virat Kohli and Smith and Ishant, largely over the DRS calls. Now, Ishant recalled why did he impersonate Smith in the second Test at Bengaluru.

"We had lost the Pune Test, and the series was on the line. The wicket on Bengaluru had its ups-and-downs. You try your best to upset the batsman. He was playing, and doing all sorts of things. I tried my best to upset him. I knew if I could get his wicket, we can win the match. So, I was trying to get him out of his comfort zone. I knew if he became comfortable, he could win the match," said Ishant, a veteran of 93 Test matches, on a chat with India opener Mayank Agarwal in the BCCI website.

Kohli is known to be aggressive on the field, celebrating the fall of opposition wickets with fervour. Ishant said Kohli is an aggressive captain and backs players to be equally aggressive, of course all that without crossing the limits and get banned.

"He is an aggressive captain, he loves it when you show aggression and he doesn't tell you anything for that. He always says just get me the wicket and do whatever you want. He just tells me not to get banned. So, when I was banned in Sri Lanka he came again and said do everything you want but just don't get banned," he said.

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