Ishant, who was wicketless in the first five-session of the opening Test, picked two back to back wickets in the third session on the second day. Ishant clean bowled Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer off successive balls to reduce England for 525/8.
The former England skipper Pietersen lauded Ishant for a commendable performance and said the pacer is an unsung hero in Indian cricket.
“Fabulous little spell here from Ishant. And I say fabulous, as 170 overs in the field is like a prison sentence! He is also an unsung hero. He has been around for many a year in Indian cricket. As a fast bowler it is highly commendable!” Pietersen tweeted.
Fabulous little spell here from Ishant. And I say fabulous, as 170 overs in the field is like a prison sentence! H… https://t.co/L6JyGwWhSx
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) 1612607578000
Even spinner Shahbaz Nadeem felt that it was Ishant’s twin blow that gave the hosts a slight upper hand in the game.
Nadeem, who himself picked two wickets on Saturday, reckons the two scalps by Ishant were very crucial as they lifted the morale of the Virat Kohli-led Indian side. With Dom Bess and Jack Leach on the crease, Nadeem said it will be easier for the hosts to now bundle out England on day three.
“Ishant’s two wickets were very crucial as he dismissed Buttler and Archer. He took wickets on successive deliveries and this kind of performance obviously uplifts the morale of the side. So, I feel those two wickets were important for us as if we did not get those two wickets there would have been a batsman on the crease rather than tailenders. Now, two England bowlers are on the crease, so we can say we have got an upper hand,” said Nadeem while replying to a query from ANI.
Joe Root’s double ton and Ben Stokes‘ 82 helped visitors to post a gigantic score in their first innings after winning the toss on Friday. At stumps on day two, England’s score read 555/8 in 180 overs with Dom Bess and Jack Leach still at the crease on 28 and 6 runs respectively.
In the final session, India bagged four wickets including the much-awaited dismissal of Root (218).