It took a long time coming. But when it did, it was pure joy.

Ishant Sharma could never rediscover the magic of his Perth 2007 spell to Ricky Ponting, but Wanderers on Thursday was different. The Delhi lad seemed the same bowler who gave Ponting a torrid time by dismissing him to set up a famous Indian victory six years ago.

The Wanderers pitch has a bit of the WACA bounce, but what did the job for Ishant was the length. He hit the right length and got the ball to dart back, something that used to be his strength when he started off.

Ravi Shastri, who was there in Perth on that January morning of 2007, felt the over in which Ishant got the wickets of Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis was the best he has seen him bowl since that Perth spell to Ponting.

"Yes, that one over was his best since Perth...He bowled to his strengths, got the ball to dart in and sometimes hold its line. It was truly an inspiring spell of bowling," Shastri told TOI.

Ishant was bowling well in the post-lunch session as well. He, along with Zaheer Khan, gave Graeme Smith a torrid time, just that the South African captain survived despite getting those inside and outside edges.

Makhaya Ntini, former South African paceman was pleased with the exceptional work-ethic shown by Ishant on Thursday. "He was simply tireless...He kept running in and bowled in the right areas. This boy is maturing, it's good that MS Dhoni has persisted with him despite his failures."

Getting Hashim Amla to shoulder arm and knock his stump over is a rarity and Ntini felt that it should be a great moment of Ishant's career. "I have bowled to Hashim, I know how good his defence is...To go through his defences the way he did deserves lot of credit," Ntini added.

The paceman, who took 390 Test wickets, sees a little bit of himself in Ishant. "Never give up, run in all the time and hit the deck hard, that's what I was. This boy reminds me of myself. Hope he keeps going.

Ishant Sharma More Stills

Keywords: Ishant Sharma, Ricky Ponting, Indian victory, WACA bounce,Ravi Shastri,Hashim Amla , Jacques Kallis , Zaheer Khan, Graeme Smith ,Makhaya Ntini, MS Dhoni ,Hashim Amla, Ntini ,cricket news,sports news