Sharma will prepare for India's tour of England by playing for county side Sussex. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

LONDON – Ishant Sharma will prepare for India's tour of England this summer by linking up with English county side Sussex for the first two months of the season.

Only three Indian seamers have taken more than the 234 Test wickets Ishant has claimed and he is expected to be part of the squad for the five-match series against England in August and September.

The 29-year-old will join Sussex until June 4 and will be available for the county's first five County Championship division two matches and all eight of their group fixtures in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

“It's a great honour to represent Sussex CCC, the oldest first-class county, and I am looking forward with excitement to my maiden stint in county cricket,” said Ishant, who also has 115 one-day and eight Twenty20 international wickets.

Ishant adds valuable experience to Sussex's fast bowling stocks in the absence of Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer, both of whom will be at the Indian Premier League.

Sussex director of cricket Keith Greenfield said: “Once Jofra and CJ were picked up in the IPL draft, it became crucial to sign an experienced international-quality seam bowler who could provide valuable support and know-how to the rest of the seamers.

“Ishant has the attributes to be very successful in early season English conditions and a great role model. He fits the bill perfectly.”