Ishant's Absence Has Hurt Us in This Test: Agarkar

Ishant's Absence Has Hurt Us in This Test: Agarkar

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar today said missing out on Ishant Sharma's services in the ongoing third Test at Southampton has hurt the team in the ongoing match.

"Obviously, you want a form player to play throughout. You don't want the guy to miss out on any cricket when he is in form. It has hurt them a little bit and plus it was a good pitch. As long as India bat well, they will do okay in the third Test," Agarkar said at the launch of Zaheer Khan's company ProSport.

Ishant was ruled out of the third Test against England due to an ankle injury after a match winning performance at Lord's.

Senior India bowler Ashish Nehra hoped his Delhi team mate could be back in action in the remaining two matches.

"For any bowler picking up seven wickets in one innings is great. When a bowler is in form, it is always good for the team and the captain, especially in a five Test match series. Injury is something that he can't help. If India does well in this Test match, he will be available for the next two Test matches," Nehra said.

Agarkar said this tour would be good for the young crop of players as they would gain experience out of it.

"They don't have the experience of bowling in the overseas condition yet. They have played a lot of one-day cricket but Test cricket is different. They have been impressive so far in the series, specially Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and then Ishant's match winning performance. So good signs if they can carry on the way they are at the moment," he said.

Nehra felt the visitors have a good chance of winning the series after leading 1-0 in the five-match Test series.

"India is playing five Test match series after so long. I remember the last time we played five Test matches, it was in West Indies in 2002. It is a long one. But after two Test matches India leading 1-0, definitely India has an upper hand so I hope we finish well," he said. 

Agarkar however felt it would be a challenge for India to maintain the same performance in the remainder of the series.

"Five Test matches in 42 days is tough. Sometimes the five Test matches are spaced out a little bit then it becomes a little easier on your body, you get more breaks between the games which is a challenge here. This experience will help them going forward," the former Mumbai player said.

Commenting on the launch of his company, Zaheer said, "This has been my dream for a long time. I have been wanting to start something like that and have this kind of access available to everyone in India. I have been working on it for a long time."

ProSport also includes former Indian team physiotherapist Andrew Leipus and former team India's fitness trainer Adrian Le Roux.

"Adrian and Andrew came on board so it added that value and exactly the vision of ProSport of what it was trying to achieve and that was providing the best service in terms of strength and conditioning and helping not only sports people but also school kids and others who want to take advantage of what we are offering and also physiotherapy.

"If you can have good guidance around injury prevention then that also goes a long way. "

Nehra felt the services being offered at the centre would help athletes.

"These kind of facilities are needed and something like ProSport will definitely help. I know Andrew and Adrian for the last 15 years and they were one of the top physios and trainers. It is not just for cricketers but all the athletes," he said.

Agarkar agreed and said, "people like Adrian and Andrew we have worked with them and we have had our history with injuries. If we had got such kind of help earlier in our career, it would have made a lot of difference."

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