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Ishant Sharma set to join team in New Zealand

kriralok desk:

Senior India fast bowler Ishant Sharma on Saturday passed the fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and will now join the team in New Zealand for the two-match Test series starting February 21.

“Yes, he (Ishant) has passed the fitness test and will join the team in New Zealand,” a BCCI source told PTI.

Ishant is expected to fly out to Wellington on Sunday for the first Test.

On January 21, Ishant — four short of becoming only the second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to reach the landmark of 100 Tests — twisted his right ankle while playing for Delhi in a Ranji Trophy match against Vidarbha at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here.

The pacer, based upon an MRI scan, had suffered a Grade 3 tear in his ankle, and been advised six weeks of rest and rehabilitation. Later for rehab, Ishant went to NCA and was named in the New Zealand Test squad subject to fitness clearance.

The 31-year-old has been an integral part of India’s best-ever pace attack and will strengthen it further when he joins Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini in New Zealand.

The last time India toured New Zealand in 2013-14, Sharma was the leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets from two Tests.