Indian cricketer in focus: Mohit Sharma - reaping the fruits of consistency
He, therefore, does not trouble the batsmen with deliveries that bounce awkwardly. He is not very quick either. But what the Haryana pacer lacks in pace, he more than makes up for it with his accuracy.
And it is this facet of his play that has paid rich dividends leading to a dream run first as a CSK pacer and later culminating in a flight ticket to Zimbabwe.
Mohit Sharma featured in 15 CSK outings this year, which in itself is something remarkable considering he was one of the uncapped players in this year’s edition of the IPL. Not many were familiar with his name, and regarded (or disregarded) him as another such name that the IPL throws up each year, only to fizzle out later.
The staunchest of CSK devotees probably thought of him as ‘the’ bowler, with nothing remarkable, except for his discipline, someone who fits the ‘Munaf’ mould, has a pretty good control over line and length, and bowls at a steady channel outside the off stump with subtle out-swingers. And those of us who love to hate CSK would have scratched their heads, and feigned ignorance about the new kid on the block.
No one could have been faulted for thinking that he looked out of place in the CSK starting XI considering the way the team was packed with India internationals. He was, however, persisted with. As the tournament progressed, his skills proved undeniable, and he slowly emerged as the team’s go to man in the power-plays, finishing with a total of 15 scalps in the first six overs which was second only to Johnson’s 16. Throw in his economy rate of 6.43, and you have world class stuff right there.
He, however, wasn’t a Bumrah, but had to take the relatively difficult route of domestic cricket, and resort to persistence and hard work without forgetting the basics: play to your strength. Everything else will, and did, fall in place.
Having made his Ranji trophy debut for Haryana in the 2011-12 season, his performances weren’t of that sort which will force anyone to sit up and take notice. He played just three matches en route a semifinal finish. Economical but ineffective, hence unimpressive: the wickets just weren’t coming.
The next season saw a disastrous start to the Haryana campaign in the Ranji tournament. Harshal Patel, their strike bowler as well as RCB recruitee, was sidelined with an injury for the first three Haryana matches in the 2012-13 season, and this earned him a place in the team. And he grabbed this opportunity with his heart, not just hands.
It was his ability to transform from being a support cast to strike bowler, his coach quips, which has played a great role in his transformation.