Rahul Sharma is a very happy man today, and his family and friends must be relieved. This is not only because of his remarkable bowling spell of 5-23, but also due to bigger possibilities in the future.
With this performance, Sharma has come under the limelight, and it might prove to be a crucial turning point for him. It could go a long way in fast tracking his recovery from a tainted cricketer to a regular member of the Indian squad.
Sharma’s journey so far has not been smooth. He was booked, along with Pune Warriors teammate Wayne Parnell of South Africa in May 2012, for his alleged involvement in the notorious Pune drug case.
Sharma however seems to have turned things around for himself and played a very important role in India A’s victory over West Indies A in the only T20I match played yesterday. With this win, India A restored some pride, after losing the ODI series.
But before we take a deeper in to yesterday’s contribution, let us take a quick look at Sharma’s profile.
Initially a medium pacer, Jalandhar lad is now a slow right-arm leg spinner. The 26-year-old (will be 27 in November) started playing for Punjab in 2006, but it was his eye-catching displays in the IPL in 2011 with the Warriors, which caught the eye, with an impressive average of 15.35.
While representing Punjab in the Ranji trophy, Sharma took 13 wickets in seven First Class matches in the year 2009-1010. Additionally, in 2011, he took two wickets while giving away just seven runs in a match against Mumbai Indians playing for the Warriors.
Sharma took three wickets on his ODI debut in ODIs in 2011 against West Indies. But that is when things took a turn for the worse. He lost his place in the side owing to a loss of from. But that was just the beginning. Due to the alleged doping charges, he was discarded from the ODI in 2012.
But credit where it is due, Sharma has recovered and performed well in the recent matches for India A. He finished with figures of 3.2-0-23-5 in yesterday’s match. Sharma credited the legendary Anil Kumble and Narendra Hirwani for his impressive performances and said that the tips given by them proved fruitful in improving his bowling.
Sharma has come a long way and youngsters should realise that one silly mistake could end their career from this episode. But if Sharma continues to maintain this kind of form, the selectors will have no option but to consider his case again. He surely deserves a second chance.