Ishant Sharma is having a wonderful tour of the Caribbean. In the first match, he took a five-wicket haul and established a partnership of 60 with Ravindra Jadeja to help India recover from a shaky position. In Jamaica, Ishant smashed his maiden Test fifty and helped Hanuma Vihari notch his first ton. The Delhi right-hander, more known for his exploits with the ball, has enjoyed a good run with the bat in 2019, having recently scored his first First Class century while batting at No.9 for Sussex against Leicestershire in the recent County season. However, on day 3 of the Sabina Park Test match, Ishant created history and gifted himself a magnificent birthday gift.
When he took the wicket of Jahmarh Hamilton, Ishant took his 156th wicket in Tests outside of Asia and he created a new record. Ishant's wicket of Hamilton took him past the legendary Kapil Dev's tally of 155 wickets overseas. While Kapil took 45 matches, Ishant surpassed the record in his 46th game.
Zaheer Khan is the other pacer in the group with 147 wickets in 38 Tests while Javagal Srinath and Mohammed Shami have 117 and 101 wickets. Shami also went past 100 wickets in Tests outside Asia in this match when he took the wickets of Rahkeem Cornwall and John Campbell.
West Indies were reduced to 117 and India ended up with a lead of 299 but they did not enforce the follow-on. Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari continued their great form as they notched up 168/4 declared and they set West Indies a near improbable target of 468. Ishant extended his record by taking the wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite for 3. When Shami got the wicket of John Campbell, West Indies were 45/2 and India were on the cusp of sweeping the entire tour. Ishant's contribution with the bat, although 91 Tests later and his brilliance with the ball is a sign that the pacer is finally living up to the hype which he generated during his debut year in 2008.
Surpassing Kapil Dev's record is a phenomenal achievement and many would be hoping that he goes on to create more new records in the upcoming home season.