Describing it as a turning point of his career, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma recollected an on-field episode that transformed his perspective towards his mistakes and made him more of a responsible person in life.
The 31-year-old said that an ODI match against Australia in Mohali in October 2013, where James Faulkner smashed him for 30 runs in an over that led to a change in his approach.
India had put up 303/9, a target Australia hunted down with three balls to spare and four wickets standing, riding on James Faulkner’s 64* off 29.
Ishant revealed he found it difficult to sleep for three weeks after, and even ‘cried like a child’.
“The turning point of my life came in 2013. Faulkner hit me for 30 runs in one over in an ODI in Mohali that Australia went on to win,” Ishant told Deep Dasgupta is a video chat hosted by ESPNcricinfo.
“At that time I felt I had betrayed myself and my country. For two-three weeks, I didn’t speak to anyone. I cried a lot. I am a very tough guy. My mother says she hasn’t seen a tougher person than me. [But] I called my girlfriend and cried on the phone like a child. Those three weeks were like a nightmare. I stopped eating. I couldn’t sleep or do anything else. You switch on the television and people are criticising you, which messes you up even more,” he added.
Ishant further explicated how things got different for him after that event and how it benefited him in the long-run.
“I laugh about it now and I consider it a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you need a jolt to understand your passion. After the Faulkner incident, I went through major changes in my life. After 2013, I started taking things seriously,” the pacer said.
“Before that, if I had a bad performance, people would come and tell me ‘It’s okay, it happens.’ But after 2013, if someone came to me and said that, I wouldn’t listen. If I have made a mistake, I have made a mistake. I started taking responsibility for my actions. When you do that, you play every match to win it for the team,” he added.