Joginder hopes SA provides another spark to flagging career

Misbah-ul-Haq c Sreesanth b Joginder Sharma. This moment,captured in a million hearts,adorns the drawing room wall in a frozen frame.

Written by G.S. Vivek | New Delhi | Published:March 26, 2009 12:00 am

Misbah-ul-Haq c Sreesanth b Joginder Sharma.

This moment,captured in a million hearts,adorns the drawing room wall in a frozen frame. Two characters of that historic moment — Misbah and Sreesanth — won’t be visiting Johannesburg with the IPL caravan this April for different reasons — and even the chief protagonist will undergo a fitness test before his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni can ask him to bowl for Chennai Super Kings.

Joginder,within the short time-span between two T20 World Cups,has moved out of the spotlight into virtual oblivion. He was missing from the domestic season,and has spent nine months recuperating from shoulder surgery and other niggles. He is now rekindling self-belief by enthralling spectators in friendly games in a remote Sirsa village. But the 26-year-old from Haryana is adamant he will make his career come a full circle with another splendid show at his favourite venue.

“For me,memories of the World Cup are restricted to photographs… now I want to ensure I win my place back in the team for the next T20 championship. This IPL is crucial since it’s a virtual selection trial. Both Yusuf (Pathan) and (Ravinder) Jadeja played for India after doing well in IPL,and there’s no reason I can’t as well.

“Of course,South Africa is very special to me,I have fond memories. It will be good to be back,” he told The Indian Express.

Joginder isn’t sure if the T20-tag has helped. “I don’t know. Someone says this tag hasn’t really helped me get my due in the longer formats at the domestic level. Right now,I don’t care if I am branded a T20 specialist,there’s a career even for a T20 specialist and I am ready to take that option. If I do well,I can find a way to get into the ODI team as well,” he says. The Rohtak-based player however feels the last-over hype in the final has taken away from his real big effort in the semis. “To be honest,my best memory of the T20 World Cup is not the final against Pakistan but the game before it. For me,that was the clinching moment,the final over I bowled in the semi-final against Australia was more memorable,” he said.

Joginder has been striving hard to get into complete match fitness,“I have been out for nine months with injuries,and have hardly played after the last IPL. I wanted to get some games under my belt and have been playing back-to-back matches for 15 days now,” he added.

Joginder will fly to Chennai on Friday to join the Super Kings preliminary camp. He feels the IPL will be different from the T20 World Cup because everyone will be playing for respective franchises,but he hopes to make as big a impact as he did the last time he was in South Africa.

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