Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: After playing for almost a month in South Africa during the Indian Premier League, Ishant Sharma is aware of the challenges a fast bowler is likely to face in England where the ICC World Twenty20 Cup gets underway on June 5.

Notwithstanding his modest showing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL — he took 11 wickets in as many matches — the Delhi speedster is excited at the prospect of playing his first World Cup in any form.

“Pitches in England will be like those in South Africa as there will be bounce in them. In order to be successful, you have to bowl in the right areas. While bowling with the new ball, one should pitch it up. One has to adapt quickly to the conditions and that will be the key,” Ishant told The Hindu here on Wednesday, at a sponsor’s event.

The lanky fast bowler said the two preparatory matches assigned for India — against New Zealand on June 1 and Pakistan on June 3 — would help in acclimatisation.

“The practice matches will be crucial as they will give us a chance to get adjusted to the conditions there,” he said.

With Zaheer Khan’s fitness issues, the 20-year-old may have an even bigger role to play.

That does not bother Ishant too much and he says he is ready to shoulder the responsibility in such a scenario.

“The seniors are very supportive in our team and that helps. There is no pressure,” he asserted.

“We have a good side and we are confident of putting up a good show. But it’s difficult to say who is going to win as the game is so uncertain in nature,” he said.

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