He became a household name when he fetched a whopping Rs 3.75 crore at the Indian Premier League auction for domestic players, but 26-year-old Karn Sharma feels that his maiden India call-up will only encourage him to do well at the next level and make a name for himself as an all-rounder. (Sanju Samson Overjoyed)
"I take my batting as seriously as I take leg-spin bowling. I would like to be known as a specialist all-rounder and make a name for myself in international cricket," Karn, who has played 33 first-class matches for Railways told PTI after having been selected for the England ODI series on Tuesday.
"Yes, I am very happy that I have got a call-up for the senior team but at the same time I must tell you that I don't work hard expecting things. I work hard because I know that hardwork pays off in the end. The real challenge begins now," Karn said from his Meerut residence.
He has been a bright new find for IPL outfit Sunrisers Hyderabad but he feels that he has been rewarded for his good show in the limited opportunities he got in Australia.
"Playing in IPL has been a learning experience for me but this A tour to Australia was in a different league. I believe you learn to handle pressure better. Even though it was India A, I was representing my country. I had a bit of role in India A's win in one of the matches. I felt so good after winning the match against South Africa A," said Karn, whose 39 not out and 2/35 at Darwin was a match-winning effort.
"I didn't do anything extra that day. I knew eight wickets were down but the match situation or pressure didn't affect me," Karn said.
Asked if he was feeling any pressure of replacing someone like Amit Mishra, who has been around for a long time now, Karn said: "I don't think in those lines. My job will be to wait for my chance and perform to the best of my ability. I know that World Cup is not far away and it's also my dream to represent the country in a World Cup."
Karn, who has been an understudy of Murali Kartik in Railways, gave a lot of credit to the former left-arm spinner for helping him develop into a good bowler.
"I would like to express my gratitude to Murali Kartik for helping me from the time I came into Railways team. I practised leg-spin since I was a kid but it was Katy bhai (as Railway boys affectionately call Kartik), who explained to me subtle nuances of leg spin bowling. I am also thankful to Railways coach Abhay Sharma. I have reached here because of these people. My endeavour will be to learn as much as possible from the Indian dressing room," he concluded.