“It would be a gross injustice to Joginder (Sharma) if he is not picked for the Indian side today,” legendary Haryana spinner Rajinder Goel said in a pensive mood on Friday.
Goel’s comments came when a spectator abused the Haryana skipper after he got out trying a mad shot.
“I’m sure he’ll be in the Indian ODI team and for the World Cup camp. He has looked outstanding this season,” Goel added. Two hours later, Goel’s wish was granted as the national selectors recalled Joginder for the first two ODIs against the West Indies. Though the mood had been sombre after the home team’s humiliating loss to Delhi, the news immediately changed the atmosphere.
The smiles were back in the Haryana dressing room — hugs were exchanged and even Delhi players congratulated the Haryana skipper.
“I’ve been rewarded for doing well at the domestic level,” was Joginder’s first reaction. Joginder is far ahead of his competitors in domestic cricket, having taken 39 wickets and scoring 300-plus runs this season. Even in the match against Delhi — which proved to be his worst outing so far — Joginder looked a class apart from the rest of the speedsters.
“After I was dropped from the Indian team, I’ve worked a lot on my bowling, with the white and the old balls in particular, because it’s always difficult to move the white ball at the international level after it gets a bit old. I know exactly what I was lacking earlier,” said Joginder.
However, on the question of his bowling speed, the 23-year had only this to say: “I don’t think there is a big difference between me and the others in terms of speed. I’m bowling around 130 kmph and my teammates tell me it has increased.”