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India’s seemingly eternal quest to unearth a genuine pacer that can strike fear in the hearts of batsmen with chin music may be at an end: their bowling mainstay, Ishant Sharma, has overnight metamorphosed into the worlds’ fastest bowler after shearing his long flowing tresses for a smooth scalp.
The lanky pacer had made a dash to Tirupati to donate his hair to the Lord in hope of finding form at the end of the 4th day’s play of the final Test of the ongoing series. And lo and behold, unlike the mythical Samson, who lost his powers after shedding his locks, the former gentle medium pacer’s speed has increased manifold.
Although the transformation into a genuine fast bowler comes at a great personal cost – Ishant was on the verge of becoming the brand ambassador for hair care products of a leading MNC, not to mention the negative impact it may have on his fan following – his team isn’t complaining, having already dubbed him the ‘bullet monk’.
While Sharma attributes his transformation to the divine grace of Lord Balaji, scientists at the Advanced Institute of Aerodynamics have a more rational explanation. “The aerodynamic drag of his shaggy mane as he ran in was considerable enough to bring his pace down by many notches. So although he may appear less intimidating during the run-up, he should more than make up for it with enhanced pace,” contends Dr. Verghese, head of the institute.