Mumbai Indians is on a roll this IPL season so its win over bottom-placed Pune Warriors’ yesterday at the D Y Patil Stadium wasn’t quite unexpected. What was a surprise, though, was the fact that a bowler, from the losing side, won the Man of the Match Award.
But with figures of 4-0-7-2, Pune’s 24-year-old leg-spinner Rahul Sharma had done enough to buck the trend of the batting-friendly T20 format.
The dream spell by the 6’4” Jalandhar bowler, against the mighty Mumbai batting line-up, has made him the most economical bowler of Season 4 and the second best on the all-time IPL list. And after Mumbai skipper Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged his consistent show at the award ceremony, those in the know say that Sharma’s name is likely to be discussed when national selectors sit to pick the ODI squad for the West Indies tour next week.
In stark contrast to Sharma’s emotions on Wednesday night, a year before the start of IPL Season 3, Sharma had woken up one morning to be overcome by the fear that his cricketing career was as good as over.