Sohail Sharma,the all-rounder,has hit a purple patch. In the recently-concluded Om Nath Sood cricket tournament the 30-year-old was adjudged the man of the series after he picked up 10 wickets and scored 150 runs. His latest award capped off a fine run,which included 15 wickets and 350 runs in a public sector tournament in Mumbai.
However,the reason why ONGC,winners of the Om Nath Sood tournament,rate Sharma highly is because of his ability to pick up wickets during the powerplay overs,a period during which he has been brought into the attack often.
Out of the 10 wickets he picked in the Om Nath Sood tournament,seven were scalped during the field restrictions. In the final against Indian Air Force,he opened the bowling and also came on during the batting powerplay. He picked up five wickets against Air Force to help his side win by seven wickets.
His weapons of choice are the flighted slow-dipping off-spinners. The Air Force batsmen,tempted by the flight tried to executive cross-batted shots which led to their downfall.
Sohail has a bagful of tricks also.
With the new ball he has the ability to bowl leg-cutters,which help him contain the batsman. During the slog overs,he switches to the off-spin mode. I keep my bowling simple. In fact I enjoy bowling with the field restrictions. Some bowlers believe that bowling in the powerplay is a tough job. But I consider it easy. I take the pace off my delivery,flight the ball, Sharma said.
On Monday,during the Laxman Das tournament,he picked up three wickets,two of them during the powerplay,against Indian Air Force at the St Stephens ground. ONGC won the game and Sharmas form continues to impress.
Sharma hopes to catch the eye of the selectors with his performances. It has been close to six years since Sharma last played for Delhi in List A matches.
Sharma also opens the innings for ONGC. It is a role he enjoys as he can make full use of the field restrictions. I am happy to face the new ball. I can play shots, he said.
Sharma is making the most of his good form while it lasts and hoping for the best.