His is a typical obscurity-to-fame-and-back story. Joginder Sharma bowled that famous last over in the T20 final last year, and instantly etched his name in Indian cricket history and caught the eye of fans. Forever? Not quite, for the name is gradually slipping off the minds of the fans and perhaps the establishment as well, sliding steadily back to the shadows from which it had emerged like a shooting star.
So, is this sudden change in the fortune hurting the Haryana all-rounder? Is he finding the fall from grace tough to handle? "Not exactly. He is mentally very strong and knows how not to let these ups and downs affect him and his game," said Gaurav Vashisht, his Haryana teammate and a childhood friend.
Vasisht said Sharma is too tough a character to let these occasional swings in fortune affect him. "He has already achieved what few would have dared to even dream, if put in his place," said Joginder's friend, alluding to Sharma's modest financial background. "To begin with, he didn't even have the support of his parents, leave alone anything else. But he kept going, believing in himself and his abilities," he said. "So someone who has been through a phase where he had little support and facilities to fall back on, being away from the limelight is something that would not bother him," he said.
Moreover the fame he got post T20 triumph didn't change him a bit as a person, said Aman Sharma, Haryana Cricket Association joint secretary. "He was pretty much the same person amidst that frenzy of fame and adulation. So, if he could hold his head then, he will surely not be affected by the temporary sidelining," he said. Moreover, he said, Joginder is currently out of the scheme of things more because of injury than anything else. "He couldn't play Ranji ODIs and Deodhar due to injury. He is getting treated in Australia and I am sure he would make a strong comeback once he regains his fitness," he said.
Amit Mishra, Joginder's skipper in Haryana, also feels he will be back soon. "He was extremely happy after the T20 win. He had set his sight on cementing his place in the side, but then injury happened and things got a bit off the track for him," he said.