To make it to the senior Indian team is what Punjab youngster Abhishek Sharma is eyeing right now after helping India clinch the U19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.
Then he made it to the IPL where he was roped in by Delhi Daredevils. he showed his spark very early scoring 46 off 17 balls against RCB in one of the league games.
After toiling hard in the U19 circuit the Punajb youngster is looking to make a smooth transition into the senior team.
“It is like starting a new journey. I have played most of my cricket at national and international level at the U-16 and U-19 level, and now the focus will be on making it to the senior teams. Winning the U-19 World Cup was like a dream for all of us. I made my debut for Punjab in Ranji Trophy against Himachal Pradesh last year, where I scored 94 runs apart from a fifty in the tournament and senior players like Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh motivated me. I missed out on a century in Ranji Trophy last year but now I will make sure that I start this season strongly and do well for the team” said Sharma while talking to Chandigarh Newsline.
Regarding his IPL stint with Delhi Daredevils under Ricky Ponting Sharma said “Even though I had to wait to get my chance in IPL, it was a learning experience for me playing for Delhi Daredevils. My focus was to play positively and play my shots even if I get dismissed on the first ball. Our coach Ricky Ponting too told us the same and to spend time with a player like him is a big thing for a youngster like me. The first innings against Royal Challengers Bengaluru was a special one and it gave me confidence. Our captain Shreyas Iyer too talked with U-19 players and he understood our game better. Playing in three matches did not give me much opportunity with the ball but I hope next year, I can excel with the ball too”.
The youngster missed a chance to be a part of the India A team, which will tour England later this month for a One Day tri-series and a four-match series. The left-arm spinner will be spending some time under his father and coach Raj Kumar Sharma before the Ranji Trophy and other domestic tournaments.
“I was a bit disappointed on missing the India A team squad. It means that I have to double down on whatever I was doing earlier to achieve the dream of playing for the Indian senior team. My father, who was also a national-level spinner, still coaches me apart from Punjab bowling coach Harwinder Singh and fielding coach Sandeep Sawal."
"When I was a junior cricketer, my father used me to show videos of Bishen Singh Bedi sir and Maninder Singh sir. It also helped me to improve my bowling. Apart from this, I still talk with Rahul Dravid sir, who was coach of U-19 team for World Cup and he always tells me to spend more time at the crease” concluded Sharma.