England in India 2011-12 September 30, 2011

Want to capitalise on this chance - Rahul Sharma

ESPNcricinfo staff

Legspinner Rahul Sharma, who received his maiden international call-up on Thursday, has said he wants to perform on the field, rather than make big promises. Sharma, along with uncapped Karnataka medium-pacer S Aravind, was named in the 15-man squad for the first two ODIs of the five-match series against England that begins on October 14.

"My aim is to capitalise on the opportunity given to me. I don't want to make big statements," Sharma told Mid-Day. "I have fulfilled my first dream of getting the national call-up. Now, my next goal is to don the India cap and do well for the country. [Being a legspinner] I am not thinking about taking Anil Kumble's place in the team."

His performance for Pune Warriors in IPL 2011 - he claimed 16 wickets and had a miserly economy rate of 5.46 - despite health issues [he has Bell's Palsy, which effects his vision] put him in the national spotlight. However, he said, he did not expect to break into the national side so early. "I didn't expect it [the call-up] to come. It was unbelievable when Parthiv Patel disclosed the news to me."

Sharma said he was disappointed to miss out on working with Harbhajan Singh, who has been India's first choice spinner for a while but was left out from the squad following a run of poor form. "It is an irony that I walk into the team as Bhajji [Harbhajan] goes out," he said. "I wanted to play with him and bowl in tandem with him."

Left-arm fast bowler Aravind, the other new face in the squad, said he had expected to make the national team only next season. "I wasn't expecting the call this year, especially after I missed the Emerging Players Tournament [in Australia in August] due to injury," Aravind said. "After I recovered, I was hoping to do well this [domestic] season and was looking forward to a call next year.

"I am really looking forward to the challenge. I have been really working hard on my bowling ever since I recovered from the injury. I think I am a better bowler than what I was a couple of years back. I hope to get a match and give my best."

Aravind is currently playing in the Champions League T20 with Royal Challengers Bangalore. He had a strong 2010-11 domestic season, leading the attack for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy and South Zone in the Duleep Trophy. Aravind said he would look to state-mate Vinay Kumar, who is also in the ODI squad, to calm any nerves. "In the Karnataka Ranji side, Vinay plays the role of a mentor to me and [Abhimanyu] Mithun. I'll be getting guidance from him even in the Indian team, and that will help ease the pressure."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    Before going to S/A tour Under Captaincy of Gambhir he picked 3 & 4 wickets in the 2 one dayers he played ! he was sent to S/A earlier to aclimatise. But was not played in onedayers there. This time in England tour he bowled very well in tests,but was not retained in onedayers,sent back.The bowlers who were given a chance didn't perform. So, for oneday series in India against England He should have been the first choice. He & praveen kumar should have been the spearheads. Sreesanth has pace,vigour ,variety,urge,innovation which are the Qualities inbuilt in him a a pace spearhead after Zak.!!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    wonder how our indian (so called pace bowlers!!) don't learn after so much of cricket!they don't try any variation,no yorkers,bouncers,nothing.they just bowl to the good length (of the batsman!!) a d the rest is history!what say Mr.VinayKumar.Good luck S.Arvind for appointing Vinay kumar as your mentor!! no comments on batting.somehow it clicks most of the times.

  • Rohan on October 1, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    Whats happening with Karnataka at one Point they had Javagal Srinath and Prasad to lead the attack and now three district level bowlers - Mithun, Arvind and the worst Vinay kumar. All the best team India or should i say Team South zone !!!!! I cant believe this is a national team selection and we are having three school level players in the reconing of that two get selected.!!!!

  • Naveen on October 1, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I am from Karnataka but am not happy with the selection of Vinay Kumar and Arvind. Both of them do not have the pace not potential to trouble batsmen when conditions are not favourable to bowlers. Vinay was lack lustre in england though the wet conditions played a part. Ashish Nehra deserved to be selected instead along with Pragyan Ojha.

    Dhoni may have to play 3 fast bowlers now bcos of the rule changes which permit 2 new balls rendering spinners ineffective until the 40th over

  • abdulrahman on October 1, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    I really dont no why people dont understand India team is full with politics, Dhoni does not want any one in his team who can take over his position, It is his good luck he has been success nothing special quality he has in him, I am sure Irfan Patan, Yousef patan will not come back in national team as Dhoni dont like them, BCCI has refused to give approval to Irfan Pathan to play for counties, as they are scared that he will come back to national site and they cant upset Dhoni as he dont want Pathan brothers in the team. We all are wasting our time thinking that India team or selection committe is doing any thing good for country...just see IPL and enjoy the game...

  • Rohan on October 1, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Arvind - Another 115-120kmph bowler and again south India preferred. where is Dhawal Kulkarni, picked for tour of NZ and never given a game until he is injured.Arvind is Poor fielder being an youngster and his body language looked awful when haddin smashed him in Clt20. Irfan Pathan could have been a better pick. Vinay Kumar - He would not be even picked in a 'A' division team in Mumbai is in the team despite being largely responsible for losses in England where batters always posted a good score. Rahul - seems to be a interesting selection although i doubt his whether he can be a Test potential. Aaron & yadav - As they are included they should be given a longer run ahead of Vinay. Kumar & Arvind Boards' awful selection policy continues to baffle.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    I m tired of ppl asking 4 Irfan who hasnt played domestic cricket except IPL for over an year.Guys he is in challenger series in India blue squad.Let him prove his fitness and perform well thr.If he does well,he can be given chance in next 3 odis.Wonder y Rajat Bhatia is nt considered a gud allrounder.He is a gud bowler and a gud batsman too.dont knw y he is nt in any squads of challenger series.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    WHERE IS IRFAN PATHAN? Arghhhh........ Fed up with this selection panel

  • Senthil on October 1, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Vinay Kumar is a mentor to Aravind? What could he possibly be telling him? "Don't swing the ball, keep it straight", or "Don't surprise the batsman, he will get angry"? Arvind is a far better bowler than Vinay Kumar and I don't really see why Vinay is even in this squad.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    WHY NOT IQBAL ABDULLAH. he has done everything to knock the doors of indian cricket.Most emerging player in IPL and emerging players tournament. he had a good season in ranji as well claiming close to 50 wickets and scoring at an avg of nearly 35. which included an individual score of 150+..........

  • No featured comments at the moment.