Mohit Sharma is enjoying the time of his life.
Following a successful season for Haryana in domestic cricket, the young pace bowler was drafted out of nowhere into the Chennai Super Kings squad. Immediately, he proved his mettle in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, finishing with 20 wickets from 15 matches.
Those figures ranked him the second highest wicket-taker for the IPL runners-up and earned him a place in the Indian team for the Zimbabwe ODIs.
But Mohit had to wait till the fourth One-Day International of the five-match series to get an opportunity, only after India had taken an unassailable 3-0 lead and decided to try out the reserve players.
He made sure he did not let the chance go abegging and came up with an impressive performance with the ball, bagging two wickets for 26 runs, as Zimbabwe were restricted to a paltry 144 in 42.4 overs after being inserted.
The 24-year-old had the perfect start to his ODI career. He rattled Zimbabwe opener Vusi Sibanda with an incoming delivery that narrowly missed the stumps and then kept the right-hander guessing with his movement.
Very soon he picked his maiden international wicket, in his fourth over, when he induced an edge from Sikandar Raza, which wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik gobbled up.
After beating the bat on many occasions, Mohit finally got one to snick the edge and give India their first wicket.
Ravindra Jadeja crippled the innings with a run-out followed by two quick wickets before Elton Chigumbura and Malcolm Waller rallied the hosts in a steady partnership of 80 runs for the sixth wicket.
Mohit then struck again, claiming the wicket of Waller to trigger another mini collapse.
Even Waller was done in by the out-swinger, which he edged to wicketkeeper Karthik for 35.
Not only was Mohit among the wickets in his first ODI, but he also did well in building pressure on the Zimbabwe batsmen with some tight bowling, which saw as many as three maidens in his spell of ten overs.
Quite rightly, as India won by nine wickets, chasing down the target with 115 balls to spare, he was named the man of the match.
Image: Mohit Sharma in Chennai Super Kings colours during IPL 6