New Delhi: He has been in prime form since the start of the Test series in Sri Lanka and Ishant Sharma has realised that he has enough skills to dismantle the batsmen with his quick bowling rather than words.
Speaking for the first time since ICC slapped a one Test suspension for his on-field conduct in the third Test against Sri Lanka at the SSC, Ishant said that he would be "aggressive" but with his performance.
"Obviously, I think (it is a) pretty good thing (that Virat Kohli has backed me). Whoever is aggressive on the field -- be it bowler or batsman -- is doing pretty well. I think if you have to dominate the game, you have to be aggressive but not with the words but as to how you approach the game and what you do on the field (performance)," Ishant told reporters after his match-winning nine-wicket haul against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy here today.
Questioned whether Indian bowling will have less impact in his absence, Ishant replied, "Cricket is a team game. And India does not need Ishant Sharma but Ishant Sharma needs India."
Probe him about his non-selection in the Indian ODI team, and the reply is curt and shows that he is a bit hurt.
"Well, you need to ask this question to someone else (selectors) and not me. I can only perform and I am doing that. I can only do what's there in my hands and what else can I do."
With match figures of 9/47, the obvious question was about his rhythm which has been top notch in recent times.
"I am pretty happy with my bowling. I don't find any reason that I need to be unhappy."
He troubled the Vidarbha batsmen with pace and bounce which he considers his strength.
"Well, that's my strength. Pace and bounce. Believe in what I need to do and that's what I have been doing. Important thing is to back your strength as that's what helps you in the long run, much easier to go and perform."
Ishant will be playing the next Ranji Trophy game against Virender Sehwag's Haryana, starting from October 15-18. For him having bowled 34 overs in this match won't be a problem as the next one starts in another three days' time.
"I will play in the next match. I believe 30 overs (34) is nothing if you see how much we bowl in Test matches. I have bowled more than this. I don't think there will be more workload than this as we are playing with five specialist bowlers."