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Discarded leg-spinner Rahul Sharma aims for 2019 World Cup

  • Rahul Sharma, who last played for India in 2012, has had a troublesome career thus far.
ANALYST
News
Modified 15 Dec 2017, 15:40 IST

Australia v India - Game 1
Rahul Sharma last played for India in 2012 while his last game at the competitive level came in 2014

What's the story?

India's out of favour leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who has played 4 ODIs and 2 T20Is, is setting his sights on the 2019 World Cup to make a comeback to the national side. Rahul made his international debut in an ODI against West Indies at Indore in 2011 while his T20 debut came against Australia at Sydney in 2012.

His last game at the competitive level was during the 2014 IPL when playing for the Delhi Daredevils, he went wicketless and was hit for 32 against the Rajasthan Royals at Delhi.

"It started with a back injury, then shoulder and knee. Before the last IPL, Rahul (Dravid) bhai called me for Delhi Daredevils trials. I again got injured after I bowled the first ball. Since then I have been doing my rehab at the National Cricket Academy (Bangalore). In one of the Punjab district matches in August, I injured my knee as the ground was a bit wet. I again went into the rehab for the knee injury. I came back only this month from the NCA," Rahul told the Mid-day.com.


In case you didn't know...

Rahul, who last played first-class cricket for his state Punjab as far back as in the 2013-14 season, was allegedly involved in the 2012 Juhu rave party scandal. The Mumbai Police found him positive for a recreational drug, and despite being backed by the BCCI at the time, his career slid down and he was even demoted to the India A side, for whom he played his last List A game in 2013.


The heart of the matter

An issue which has bothered Rahul in the past has been his repeated encounters with injuries. He also explained the drug incident at the party which went a long way in his career graph slipping downwards, clarifying why he was needlessly dragged into a controversy by the police who “had nothing (proof) against me”.


What next?

The 2019 World Cup, to be hosted by England, is still one and a half years away; and before it starts, Rahul sounds confident of rebuilding his image in the public domain. “Once I start performing, the perception towards me will automatically change. These two-and-half years have been quite difficult. I know myself what I have gone through," he says.


Author's Take

While Rahul's determination sounds positive, he has a long way to go before qualifying for India again. Moreover, with not even Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja finding a place in the limited-overs teams of India due to the success of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, things will further become challenging for Rahul.


Published 15 Dec 2017, 15:40 IST
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