Team India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on Wednesday said that pacer Ishant Sharma needs a couple of games to regain his rhythm as he has not played enough cricket this year.
New Zealand managed to survive by the barest of margins on the last day of the first Test against India after a gritty performance from their lower-order batters, ensuring that visitors walked away with a draw.
"Honestly, there are many positives we can take from the first Test. Obviously, we did not win the match, it did not happen but very happy with the effort. It was not an easy wicket, we were unlucky at times. There was not much bounce on the wicket, a couple of edges did not carry, had that happened, it would have been a different result. Overall extremely happy with the effort everyone put on that wicket," said Mhambrey while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
While talking about Ravichandran Ashwin's feat of surpassing Harbhajan Singh's Test wickets tally, the bowling coach said: "With Ashwin, it is a phenomenal achievement. He is a match-winner hands down for us. He has always done well for us. I am sure he will continue to do so going ahead."
Talking about the form of Ishant Sharma, Mhambrey said: "Ishant has not played much cricket for a long time. He hasn't played in the IPL and World Cup. That does make a difference, we are working on it. He has got enough experience under his belt, it makes a difference to have him in the dressing room. He is a great help. He needs a couple of games under his belt to regain his rhythm."
The second Test of the two-match series will be played at the Wankhede Stadium from December 3-7. Skipper Virat Kohli will return to lead the side.
Speaking about the form of Ajinkya Rahane, the bowling coach said: "I think both with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, they have enough experience behind them. They have played enough cricket and we also know as a team that they are one inning away from coming back into form. As a team, everyone is behind them and backing them. We know the value they bring to the team. They have played enough cricket to understand what is expected out of them."
Giving an update on wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, Mhambrey said: "We will take a call closer to the game. I think the physios are in touch with head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Virat Kohli. But obviously whatever he has been through, fabulous effort from him to bat like that." (ANI)