Karn Sharma optimistic despite lacklustre year with Vidarbha

On Friday, he was left out of Vidarbha's squad for the Ranji Trophy final against Delhi.

Vidharbha player Karn Sharma during a net session at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Thursday.   -  R.V. Moorthy

 

It has been an ordinary year for Karn Sharma. After switching from Railways to Vidarbha as a professional this season, Karn has featured in only four games, scalping 14 wickets.

“Cricket is a team sport, if somebody is doing well, he will play. I don’t have any problem with that because the team is doing well. That’s a bit disappointing but if given a chance I would have tried to do well. The team comes first,” he had told Sportstar on the eve of the Ranji Trophy final.

On Friday, he was left out of the team that took the field against Delhi.

Not so long ago, Karn was being touted as one of the most promising spinners of the country. Back in 2014, he even made it to the Indian team and played in all the three formats. But then, things fizzled out fast and Karn soon lost the plot.

Karn allowed himself a wry smile and tried downplaying the issue. “Those things (selection) are not in my hands. All I can do is play and perform. That’s all I can do. It’s there at the back of the mind but I want to keep things simple,” he said.

There was a time when he was even chosen over Ravichandran Ashwin. But he failed to keep that momentum going. What went wrong?

“I don’t have an answer. I could have done better but then opportunities come and go. I could not do it that time. Whenever I get a chance, I will do well. There’s nothing negative about it, but yes, even I know I could not do it as per expectations. There’s a bit of pain,” the leg-spinner said.

“Injury was a factor, but that’s part and parcel of the game. I am focusing on the present. The idea is to play and perform,” he added as an afterthought.

Perhaps, one of the reasons why Karn chose to move to Vidarbha leaving Railways was to play more domestic cricket. But even as the team had a fairytale season — reaching the final of the Ranji Trophy for the first time — Karn had to warm the bench for most of the time.

Karn knows it would be tough for him to make a comeback to the national side at a time when even the likes of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been sidelined, but he chose to be optimistic about his chances. “I need to keep performing to be in the fray. That’s the main objective. I have to be in the present. I am confident of doing well,” the 30-year-old said.

Watching his team-mates fight it out against Delhi on Friday, the spinner would be hoping that his time of warming the bench ends soon.

Karn Sharma obliges fans with 'selfies' at Holkar Stadium in Indore on Thursday.   -  Shayan Acharya