A gangly 19-year-old rookie versus Australia’s run-machine Ricky Ponting wasn’t expected to be much of a contest, but Ishant Sharma proved otherwise, winning the tense battle royal and praise for his lion-hearted effort during the Perth Test on India’s tour of Australia in 2007-08. He made his Test debut in Bangladesh, but it was his five-wicket haul against Pakistan on a lifeless Bangalore pitch that guaranteed him a spot in the 16-member squad for Australia. Having outfoxed Ponting in both innings in the third Test in Perth, he went on to impress in the ODI series, finishing as the highest wicket-taker to help India take the trophy. His nagging line and length continued to give the Australians a headache on their tour of India as he took 15 wickets in a 2-0 triumph, also in 2008. He showed similar commitment with the bat, memorably teaming up with VVS Laxman in 2010 to register a one-wicket win over Australia in Mohali. However, he soon dropped a few yards in pace and the honeymoon period came to a halt. After a very successful tour of the West Indies in 2011, where he was the leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets, Ishant went wayward only to find his stripe back in 2014 when he picked up 38 wickets in eight Tests including 7 for 74 in the famous Lord’s win over England. With 61 appearances, he is currently India’s most-capped Test cricketer though lack of consistency and injuries have prevented him from becoming the spearhead he was expected to be in the post-Zaheer Khan era.