This Friendly Fridays has probably been one of my most entertaining chats with a celebrity so far (and he never behaved like a celeb even once).
But before we get started let me tell you, there’s a big surprise for all you Ishant Sharma and cricket fans at the end of this FF, so don’t forget to catch it.
With ED batting first, here we go:
I have always believed that sports are a metaphor for life which teach us invaluable lessons that we can apply to every aspect of it. On interviewing Ishant Sharma, Indian cricketer, my already firm belief about the upward sloping curve between sports and learning was further strengthened.
Ishant Sharma needs no introduction, for this fast bowler stands tall (quite literally at 6”3’) with all his achievements in the coveted blue jersey.
So, let’s jump right in; when ED gets chatty with Ishant Sharma:
Team ED: Who is your favourite captain and why?
Ishant Sharma: I’ll have to say Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Team ED: Who is your cricketing idol and why?
Ishant Sharma: Glenn McGrath. He propagates goal setting and self belief for fast bowlers. Even if it’s the third new ball, he still comes out and consistently bowls the same length. I really admire his attitude and approach towards the game.
Team ED: How do you deal with the pressure of tricky situations such as when you are bowling the final over and the team needs few runs to win or when you are about to bowl the hat-trick ball?
Ishant Sharma: You know, there are actually two types of pressure.
The first one is performance pressure. As a senior in the team I have the responsibility to take wickets. This type of pressure is more important because it is directly linked to team selection.
The second type is situational. In tricky circumstances, you need to be calm to plan and execute. You need to focus on your strengths and be bold to think about what you need to do, and just do it without thinking about the pressure.
It’s all a mind game at the end of the day.
Team ED: How do you deal with sitting out of important tournaments like the World Cup this year due to an injury?
Ishant Sharma: I was really upset initially, but then I got over it. For everyone it was a really big deal because it was a World Cup, but I looked at is as a game of cricket and realised that it was not the end of the world. You have to move on in life, otherwise you can’t progress in sports.
Team ED: Do you have any pre-match rituals or superstitions? What about the threads you wear?
Ishant Sharma: Nope, no superstitions. The threads are mummy’s love! I wear them because I’m a Brahmin and we carry out lot of pujas regularly.
Team ED: So you know how to perform these puja rituals like a havan etc?
Ishant Sharma: I have read the Bhagvat Gita, know the Hanuman Chalisa and a couple of mantras. But am not a pro at the rituals or the heavy duty paaths.
Team ED: Are you dating anyone? What’s the scene on the marriage front?
Ishant Sharma: Nope, I’m not dating anybody. As for marriage, even my parents keep asking if there is someone! But I guess, I’m too young to get married right now and I have to continue focussing on my career.
Team ED: Tell us some dressing room masti you guys do?
Ishant Sharma: We don’t play silly games like prank calling as girls and stuff. Rather, when someone is let’s say sad after his performance, then we all try and get together to tease him, make him laugh, get him out of it and move on.
We are all in our mid-twenties so are always having fun and doing tons of masti together. It’s a great team.
Team ED: What is the most memorable or craziest incident from a post-match party?
Ishant Sharma: The party we had after we won the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia was crazy. I was new in the team then and it was such a blast to enjoy the victory.
Team ED: So what kind of pranks do you mostly play on your team mates?
Ishant Sharma: This one time, I was holding a bottle of Gatorade and I poured dal, chutney, paneer, etc in it and turned it on Dhoni’s head. Dhoni took it quite well, but did say that when the time comes, he would take his chance and get back on me.
In Colombo, he pushed me into the swimming pool (with my phone in my pocket)!
Team ED: Oops! Ok, so you’re not allowed to take time or think. Tell us what is the first thing that comes to your mind when we say:
Food: Rajma Chawal
Girlfriend: Not yet
Chuddy Buddy: Rajeev Mahajan
And now for the big surprise! So we challenged Ishant into an arm wrestling match with me, and even though he was a bit scared initially, he agreed to it finally after popping some multivitamin tablets. (Haha, I’m sure you all know I’m kidding)
So here’s who won finally:
Ishant Sharma & ED’s Aantika in a fun arm wrestling match
To be honest, I could have easily won that one much sooner and on my own but we didn’t want it to looked rigged, you know… More believably, I used a lot of pain relief spray that night and for days to come, but I’m going to say that it was definitely worth it!
A big thanks to Ishant Sharma for being the sport that he is, even on ED! :D
We loved every bit of our rendezvous with you! Hope to see you on the field soon and knocking down the stumps!
With that, it’s a wrap of this exciting edition of Friendly Fridays. We will be back again, with some more fun and friendly chats next Friday.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
See you again next week, till then, Adios and Be Gooood!
Interview conceptualised by Aantika Tandon (with inputs from Gayatri Sood and Harshita Sharma).