NEW DELHI: India pacer Ishant Sharma believes cricketers will have to get used to the new normal once cricket resumes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to stem the transmission of coronavirus, potential changes such as ban on usage of saliva or sweat for shining the ball have been proposed and it could be a reality going forward. However, Ishant is not thinking too much about that and is looking to stay in the present.
"We know there are talks of some changes and adjustments in cricket, but I feel cricketers will have to get used to the new normal, whatever that is. The ball may not shine as per your liking if you are not allowed to use saliva, or you may have to go and fetch the ball yourself during nets — but there is no option but to get used to these things," Ishant said during an Instagram Live session with Delhi Capital's official handle.
"But honestly I don't like to think about these things too much. I feel it is important to stay in the present and not look too far ahead."
Talking about the importance of discipline, Ishant admitted that he was "initially a bit frustrated during the lockdown, but has managed to change his schedule to ensure he's able to keep his discipline.
"I've started waking up at 5am and I ensure that I'm putting in a running session in the morning and then working out during the day to stay very fit. I think it's really important to be very disciplined if you are to keep performing at the highest level, and I think that is what sets the best apart from average," said the 31-year-old.
After having struggled in the middle phase of his career, the cricketing world has seen a different Ishant in the past three years, and the lanky bowler said it's down to him enjoying his bowling more.
"People keep saying Ishant 2.0, which it makes it sound like I am a robot! But the phase before 2017 was one when the pressure to perform was a lot. It gave me sleepless nights, and I hardly found any joy in my bowling. My county stint with Sussex was what changed everything. It was a gruelling stint for me because I was bowling 22-23 overs in a day, batting as well, and then coming back home to do the chores. It was a tough drill but somehow I enjoyed it a lot," he said.
"It was kind of a self-realisation also. I think I enjoyed a lot more there and I ended up learning a lot about myself — credit also to Jason Gillespie who was my coach there. When I came back to India to play after that, I felt a lot free and focussed only on enjoying the present, which took off a lot of pressure from me. That change in mindset is the reason for me being an improved cricketer today," he added. IANS