Who is Rahul Sharma, new kid on the block?
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma has earned a call for India's ODI series against England in October. The lanky leg-spinner who plays for Punjab will look to make the opportunity count and has the experience in domestic matches to bank on.
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma has earned a call for India's ODI series against England in October. The lanky leg-spinner who plays for Punjab will look to make the opportunity count and has the experience in domestic matches to bank on. (Pics: Controversial selection decisions)
"It is like dream come true for me. It is a reward of my hard work and good performances in IPL and also in domestic cricket over the years," the lanky spinner told reporters on Thursday.
Sharma has been a prolific player for Punjab and proved his skills in the Indian Premier League as well, after being picked by the Pune Warriors. The 24-year-old made his first-class debut for Punjab against Rajasthan in 2006 and has hardly looked back since. He has the potential to trouble batsmen with the turn that he extracts and national debut on sub-continental tracks will be an added bonus.
Rahul Sharma joins the Indian team in a spell where spinners - who were touted their biggest strength earlier - have failed to leave a mark at the international stage.
"It is an irony that I walk in the team as Bhajji goes out. I wanted to play with him and bowl in tandem with him," he said.
He also spoke about Harbhajan's influence on his career. "I hail from Jalandhar in Punjab and Bhajji has been great help for me. I see this opportunity as a new challenge and I wish to give my hundred per cent because that's what matters the most," he said.
Though Sharma has been known for consistent performance in the Ranji Trophy and other domestic tournaments, his claim to fame was dismissing Sachin Tendulkar during IPL. The dismissal was known as an occasion when a young talent outfoxed a veteran batsman to lay claim to his wicket. Sharma has the potential to do so repeatedly, considering his best figures in first class cricket is 7/158, which shows that England batsman will have to study his style of bowling before coming out to bat against him.
(With PTI inputs)