A tall leg spinner capable of extracting extra bounce from pitches, Rahul Sharma made a name for himself with impressive performances for Pune Warriors in the 2011 IPL. He dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in Pune’s match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium and then had figures of 2 for 7 in the return fixture at the D.Y. Patil Stadium. Those performances helped him find a place in the Indian ODI squad for the home series against England in October 2011. He made it to the playing XI in the fourth ODI against West Indies. Since then he has been an important part of the Indian Cricket Team. The Pune Warriors star has not had as great an IPL season as he would have liked, much alike his team. Sharma has been Pune Warriors’ strength in the previous season, having contributed much to the success of the team. With Pune Warriors being out of contention for the playoffs, he talks to Sportskeeda about how his experience so far has been.
Q. PWI after a good start initially have faultered.Why do you think this happened?
Sharma : Well yeah, we kicked off with some good wins but we have not been doing well in the past few matches. We have been losing pretty close matches which has proved disadvantageous for us. All we are hoping now is to win the rest of the matches as its not possible to qualify for the playoffs.
Q.How was your experience of playing under Saurav Ganguly?
Sharma : He’s a good captain and you learn a lot from such an experienced person.I have played under MS Dhoni and Yuvi paaji also.Every captain has different strategies and tactics to put into use therefore they are all unique in their ways. My duty is to fulfill the job given to me by my captain and I give my 100% to deliver the best I can for the team.
Q. You must have been very disappointed when Gayle hit 5 sixes in your one over. Did you get nervous when you were bowling to him?
Sharma : Well for one thing, no matter what, I never get nervous. I maintain my positive frame of mind and enjoy my bowling always. It is obviously not a good feeling when you get hit for so many runs, but then Gayle is a top class batsman who currently is in great form.We know that the IPL is more of a batsman game and bowlers don’t have much of an option. After the match, I had a talk with Anil kumble and Muralitharan and they told me that my bowling was perfectly fine but nevertheless I am constantly working on improving my bowling.
Q. You have been selected in the India A team which will tour West Indies straight after IPL. Are you all set for it?
Sharma : Yes I am satisfied with my performance as of now and I am working very hard on my game. This will be my first West Indies tour therefore I will be aiming to seize this opportunity by giving my best and performing well for the team.
Q. Don’t you think this back to back tournament schedules puts pressure on the players and not adequate amount of rest is given?
Sharma : Well this is cricket and I haven’t had proper time to spend with my family for the past 2 years. There is intense competition and therefore I am fine as I enjoy my game and playing for India a lot. It is a great honour for me. After IPL I will be going back home for few days where again I will be practising for the West Indies tour. It’s not easy being a cricketer.