Veteran pacer Ishant Sharma has revealed that former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan lent him a pair of shoes prior to his ODI debut against South Africa in 2007. With a host of first-team stars missing from the tour due to injuries, India had summoned the then 19-year-old Ishant for the three-match series against the Proteas in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ishant, who had played just one Test prior to his ODI debut, realised his kit bag was missing once he landed in Ireland.

During a recent interaction, Ishant revealed that he was more nervous about the traveling, rather than the match.

“I was more nervous about the whole travel bit than about a match. Somehow, I made it to Ireland, jet-lagged, only to realise that my kit bag was missing. I knew that stuff gets stolen on the train but I had no idea this could happen on a flight,” Ishant said on ‘Home of Heroes’ on JioCinema.

Ishant further revealed that since he couldn’t play barefoot, he had to borrow a pair of shoes from Zaheer.

“Rahul Dravid told me that I have to debut the next day and I responded, ‘But I can’t play barefoot!’ I didn’t even practice. I asked Zak (Zaheer Khan) for a pair of size 11 shoes so I could play the match. He gave me some shoes, but my toe kept hurting, but I didn’t care,” he added.

Ishant made his debut in the second match of the series, but went wicketless and conceded 38 runs in seven overs.

India went on to win the game, and later clinched the series by winning the series decider.


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