Not so easy to make a comeback: Joginder

People remember Joginder Sharma as the one who helped India live the dream of winning the T-20 World Championship final in 2007,bowling the final over and dismissing Pakistani batsman Misbah-ul Haq to give India the Cup.

Written by Shalini Gupta | Chandigarh | Published: February 12, 2009 3:32:00 am

“It has been more than four months since I returned from Australia. In this period,I have been visiting the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and playing there. Dav Whatmore has been a tremendous guide and playing under his watchful eyes my game has improved a lot. I have been bowling there and feeling alright but there is certainly a hitch and hesitation when I bowl. So,I am taking one step at a time to get back into the game”

People remember Joginder Sharma as the one who helped India live the dream of winning the T-20 World Championship final in 2007,bowling the final over and dismissing Pakistani batsman Misbah-ul Haq to give India the Cup.

And then Joginder’s story got a twist for the worse. Injuries forced him out of action for a while,he returned for the inaugural Indian Premier League,playing under M S Dhoni in the Chennai Super Kings but just when he thought he would be back in the mainstream,bang; twin injuries forced him out of the game again,this time for nearly eight months.

Rehab over,the Haryana allrounder is now trying to pick up the broken pieces and put them together. He will return to competitive cricket later this week in the North Zone Ranji limited-overs tournament,aware though that he would need more than a miracle to push open the door of the Indian team. “In the last one year many cricketers have done well for the country,so it will be very tough for me to leave an impression,” Joginder,attending a camp for Haryana at Rohtak,says,”I guess getting back in the national side is difficult because the team is doing well and so are the players. It’s even tougher than making a debut so I’ve to fight it out.”

Joginder suffered injuries on his ankle and shoulder and went under the knife in Australia. “I have recovered 95 percent from my injuries. The other five percent would be completed when I will play competitive cricket. I just need to have practice matches in order to assess my fitness.”

Joginder knows he will have to start from scratch,even at the domestic level.”It has been eight months since my ankle and shoulder injuries were operated on at the Avenue Hospital in Melbourne. It is the longest gap of my career where I have been advised to stay away from cricket. It’s really disappointing to sit out due to injury after having performed on the big arena. My family has been a real support in these months and I am confident to be back again.”

In Joginder’s absence,Amit Mishra was made the Haryana skipper.

In order to get his rhythm back,Joginder has been paying regular visits to the NCA in Bangalore and working on his game under Dav Whatmore.

“It has been more than four months since I returned from Australia. In this period,I have been visiting the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and playing there. Dav Whatmore has been a tremendous guide and playing under his watchful eyes my game has improved a lot. I have been bowling there and feeling alright but there is certainly a hitch and hesitation when I bowl. So,I am taking step by step to get back into the game.”

This all-rounder is also pinning hopes on IPL: “If I don’t play in the Ranji matches,then I will be straightaway playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April. It will be exciting to play in the IPL under Dhoni again and with Stephan Fleming becoming our new coach. I got attention in the T20 WC win,maybe the second season of IPL and T20 cricket will usher in new avenues for me.”

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