New Delhi: Ishant Sharma has not been much of a handful for Australia`s batsmen but the superstitious Indian paceman will at least become a real mouthful after tweaking his name in a bid to change his bowling fortunes.
The lanky 23-year-old is battling indifferent form and a fragile ankle but was diligently practising a new signature after a graphologist advised him to change the spelling of his name to `Isshannt`, local media reported on Wednesday.
Graphology is the study of hand-writing as expression of the writer`s character.
"I do not know how and why, but I`m more at peace now since the signature change," the bowler was quoted as saying in a report that appeared in Hindustan Times newspaper.
However, there was little evidence in the first test to suggest the tactic had worked as Sharma toiled without success in Australia`s first innings but did claim a single victim in the home team`s ongoing second innings in Melbourne.
Despite generating plenty of speed, Sharma`s problem could be the amount of time he is devoting to perfecting his new signature.
"Instinctively I still end up writing my old signature as it is hard to give up. But I`m working on it. I have so far exhausted about 20 notebooks practising.
"I haven`t changed them in my bank account or official papers as that is a long drawn-out process," the bowler added.
His father, however, was unaware of his son`s actions.
"I`m not sure about it. He remains Ishant on paper and I`m not aware if he has changed his autograph," Vijay Sharma said.
Even if he has, Sharma junior can hardly claim to be a trend-setter.
Former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth, head of the selection panel that picked Sharma for the four-test series, is also believed to have added an extra lucky `k` to his surname, although he would not confirm the switch.
The same recipe for success prompted former all-rounder Sanjay Bangar to spell his name `Sunjoy` but his international career stalled after he played 12 tests and 15 one-dayers between 2001-04.
The trend is much stronger in Bollywood, India`s movie-churning machine, where Rakesh Roshan is known for directing films with titles beginning with `K`.
Some other directors have thrown an additional letter into film titles while quite a few A-list actors have inserted an extra `a` in their names in the hope that the extra vowel will result in extra income.