India vs South Africa, Centurion Day 2: Ready to take crucial wickets, says Ishant Sharma

Indian pacer Ishant Sharma on Sunday said as a senior player he will have to take the responsibility and get important wickets.

 India vs South Africa, Centurion Day 2: Ready to take crucial wickets, says Ishant Sharma
Ishant returned 3/46 in South Africa's first innings. (File Photo)

Indian pacer Ishant Sharma on Sunday said as a senior player he will have to take the responsibility and get important wickets.

Sharma also said that he missed the first Test match because he had not recovered from an illness. "I was supposed to play the first Test but I fell ill as soon as we reached here. I wasn't fully recovered from the fever so I didn't play the first game. I am the senior fast bowler of this team so I have to take responsibility. I am ready to take those important wickets for the team."

Ishant was non-committal on how the pitch would behave heading into days three, four and five but opined that the game was still in the balance with Virat Kohli at the crease and approaching a century.

"I think it's a pretty important partnership, obviously, because the way Virat is playing it is a totally different game. If Hardik gets going he can take the game away from the opposition. After tea yesterday, the run-out from him was a game-changer for us. He backs his strength totally and I am hopeful they will take the game away from South Africa," Ishant said.

"The balance is there currently. If Virat and Hardik have a good partnership then tomorrow's (Monday) morning session is going to very important for us. And it is vital how we play tomorrow. That is very important for us. It was a pretty even day because we bowled them out pretty easily for 335 runs.

"On this kind of a wicket, I think this was a good effort by the bowlers and we are at 183 for 5, so I think it was a pretty even day for both the teams," he added.

Responding to queries about dropped catches, Ishant emphasised that India did well enough to restrict South Africa on the day two morning after they were placed at 269 for 6 overnight.

Ravichandran Ashwin picked up four for 113, but missed a five-wicket haul due to two missed chances."We have coaches to talk about this and everybody is pointing it out. We don't have to react on all these things because it is part and parcel of the game. You know they are fielders, and they will take brilliant catches for us. They have taken brilliant catches for us in the past, and I am sure they will take in the future as well. So there is no need to panic," said Ishant.

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