Ishant Sharma delivered the second fastest ball ever bowled by an Indian bowler when he clocked 152.6 km/h (94.8mph) at Adelaide against Australia on February 17, 2008. The fastest one still belongs to Javagal Srinath who clocked 154.5 at the 1999 World Cup. Sharma has a high arm delivery action and can move the ball in both the directions.
He has earned the nickname Lambu (meaning Tall Guy), which refers to his lean and tall build, measuring 193cm.
May 2007, he was selected in the Test team for the Bangladesh tour and played as a replacement for the fast bowler Munaf Patel.Hebowled 3 overs in the second Test including one maiden and conceded only five runs.
Ishant Sharma got called into the team in the 3rd Test match during Pakistan's tour of India in December 2007 due to injury of India's frontline pacers Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, and Sreesanth. On the batting paradise pitch, Sharma toiled hard to cement and secure his place permanently in the Indian team while picking 5 wickets during the third Test in Bangalore. This performance earned him a place in India's squad for the tour of Australia.
In January 2008, Sharma was called to represent India once again to replace the injured Zaheer Khan in the second Test at the SCG. On the fourth day of the match he bowled an exceptional spell to Australian captain Ricky Ponting that resulted in his wicket and helped India claim victory. He used the pace and bounce of the WACA wicket to trouble the batsmen. In the following Test played in Adelaide, he picked up two wickets and impressed everyone with his bowling.
On February 10, 2008, Sharma bagged four important wickets in the 4th ODI of CB Series against Australia. He ended up with the figures of 4/38 and claimed the Man of the Match award.
Ishant Sharma has been focusing on becoming a Fast bowler rather than a Medium Pacer. He bowled a 149.5 km/h delivery versus Australia in Melbourne on February 10, 2008. At that time, he was just 0.2 km/h short of fastest ball ever bowled by an Indian. The record holder was Ashish Nehra who bowled at 149.7 km/h versus Zimbabwe at World Cup 2003. However, Ishant was successful in breaking the record just a week after he got close to it, versus Australia in Melbourne on February 17, 2008. His fastest ball was 153.0 km/h and he constantly clocked around that 152 km/h mark.
Sharma has a high-arm action attacking on and around the batsman's off-stump (the corridor of uncertainty) which gives him the ability to nip the ball back in to right-handed batsman and also swing it through the air quite considerably, while extracting a great deal of bounce. Some critics have compared him to the 1980s' West Indian fast bowlers, especially the legendary Curtly Ambrose. He has also been compared to the Indian Fast bowler Javagal Srinath.
Ishant Sharma was the discovery of the tour Down Under. On the basis of his recent strong performance in Australia, Ishant Sharma was lapped up for an astounding winning bid of $950,000 by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan for his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders in the player auction for the IPL Twenty20.This was the highest amount paid for any bowler in IPL tournament. During the 2008 Test series against Australia in India, Ishant, with 15, was the leading wicket-taker and was named Man of the Series as India won 2–0. He thereby became the first Indian paceman to win such an award in a Test series on Indian soil after Kapil Dev who won the award in 1983. He was noted for achieving reverse swing on balls sometimes as young as eight overs. He took Australian captain Ricky Ponting's wicket three times during the series, and six times in as many Tests, thus, adding another feather to his cap.