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Upbeat Rahul Sharma hoping to make the most of Kumble's advice

March 15, 2014 10:49 IST

Upbeat Rahul Sharma hoping to make the most of Kumble's advice

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Words of wisdom from former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble and Yuvraj Singh have infused new life in young spinner Rahul Sharma.

The episode of testing positive for recreational drugs during the 2012 IPL season is well behind him and he's eyeing a successful season in the upcoming seventh edition of the Twenty20 extravaganza for Delhi Daredevils.

Sharma and his then Pune Warriors team-mate Wayne Parnell were among the 94 people detained by the police after a raid at Hotel Oakwoods in Juhu, Mumbai, in 2012. When the police revealed that he had tested positive for consuming recreational drugs at a rave party after the 2012 IPL season, Sharma, then a 25-year-old up-and-coming bowler, was left shell-shocked. But a pat on the back and guidance from former India captain Kumble and his senior state-mate Yuvraj helped him get his focus back on his game.

"BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] helped me a lot to overcome that period. My idol Anil Kumble, Yuvi paaji, my coaches, family and friends supported me and helped me forget that period.

"Anil bhai, Yuvi paaji and even Virat Kohli encouraged me and told me to concentrate on my game," Sharma said.

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Image: Rahul Sharma
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

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'I am looking forward to having a good IPL season with Delhi Daredevils'

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"I have overcome that incident, which to some extent affected my game. I have come out of that phase. I am feeling great at the moment. My bowling is also looking good. Cricket is everything to me and I am looking forward to having a good IPL season with the Delhi Daredevils franchise.

"I had spoken to mediapersons on this topic when I was part of the India 'A' tour. I had said I was not involved [in the consumption of drugs]. I remained disturbed for a year or so. It was a very tough period. I had never thought that such thing would happen to me. I was shocked; I was feeling low," he added.

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Image: Rahul Sharma
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

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'I have to do extremely well to make a case for my selection'

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Sharma says he will give his all for Delhi Daredevils so that he can get back into the India side.

"I would give my 100 per cent in the IPL to get into the Indian side. I have full faith in my abilities. It feels great to be part of the Delhi Daredevils family," he said.

Sharma, who has played in four ODIs and claimed six wickets, said he will have to do "extremely well" in this IPL season to get into the Indian side, as another leggie and senior pro Amit Mishra is pressing his case for a regular berth with impressive performances.

"Amit bhai has been bowling well for the last one-and-a-half years. I have always received support from him. I know I have to do extremely well to make a case for my selection," he said.

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Image: Rahul Sharma
Photographs: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

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'An advantage for me playing in sub-continent conditions'

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He said he will try and learn "as many things as possible" from former India coach Gary Kirsten, who has joined the Delhi franchise as head coach.

"I have heard a lot about him. He always tries to get the best out of youngsters. I am looking forward to meeting him and getting important cricketing tips from him."

The lanky bowler refused to buy the argument that [Jharkhand left-arm spinner] Shahbaz Nadeem could pose a threat to his place in the playing eleven.

"I don't feel so. I have full faith in my abilities. I am feeling confident about my bowling. The first part of the IPL will take place in the UAE and second in Bangladesh.

"It would be an advantage for me playing in sub-continent conditions. I have never played in that region and it would be a new experience for me. I think the two venues will suit my bowling."

 


Image: Rahul Sharma
Photographs: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

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