Ishant Sharma focussed on winning IPL

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (UNI) Stating that playing for the country gives him the greatest high, young pace sensation Ishant Sharma today said he is focussed at present on winning the IPL for the Kolkata Knightriders.

''There is no greater honour than playing for one's country,'' Sharma told mediapersons here. ''But at present my mission is to win the IPL for the Kolkata Knightriders.'' Calling the cash-rich IPL an ''exciting concept'', Sharma said it is impossible to brand a particular team as the favourite as all the sides in the competition are strong and the Twenty20 format is such that any team can win on their day.

''This is the Twenty20 format. The team which performs well on the day of the match will win,'' he remarked.

''There are no favourites as such.'' He admitted that the T20 format was a challenge for the bowlers and they needed to focus on accuracy to keep the batsmen in check.

''You cannot afford to bowl loose deliveries in this format,'' Sharma said. ''You have to focus on accuracy and hit the right spots.'' ''This is a challenge for the bowlers,'' he added.

When asked about his reactions on playing against his colleagues from Team India in the IPL, Sharma said,''we are rivals on the field. But off the field, we are all friends.'' The 19-year-old also stressed that he was not too upset about not being able to play for the team representing his hometown - the Delhi Daredevils.

''I am not missing the Delhi Daredevils, I am focussing on my game,'' he said. ''When I will face the Daredevils in the IPL, I will try to dismiss all their batsmen.'' UNI AB RKM DB1827

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