Sandeep Sharma, based from Punjab, is a right arm medium pace bowler. He has represented India at two Under-19 World Cups – 2010 and 2012. He was signed up by Kings XI Punjab in 2013. The legend has it that Sandeep was a batsman during his school days but took up bowling only after his coach advised him to do so. By god’s grace and good showing in IPL, he earned an Indian cap in 2014.
He is well known for his ability go swing the ball. He has won hearts of millions through his talent and skills. Still it is said that it might take a little for him to secure his place in the Indian Cricket Team.
In a brief Conversation with Sandeep :
1. How did cricket happen to you ? What got you interested in the game ?
I got interested in cricket because my elder brothers and their friends used to play cricket in our society for enjoyment, so from there I started playing cricket and then I took it professionally in my school and from there my journey started.
2. Did anybody had a major impact on your career ? Who do you look up to as inspiration in cricket field ?
I feel my family and my coach Mr. Munish BALI have a major impact on my career. When I started playing cricket in my school, my coach Mr Munish saw my cricket and started helping me. He pushed me to do hard work and he polished my talent.
3. Did IPL change your life ? Did it help you in enhancing your bowling skills ?
It can be said that IPL changed my life and lot of other player’s life as well. It helped us in many ways. I met many players in IPL like Virender Sehwag PAJI, Mitchel Johnson and others. I learnt a lot from Virender Sehwag PAJI. His experience helped me to improve my bowling skill along with my mental strength which I feel is more important. I learnt to stay cool while bowling in pressure situations & to play with batsman mind.
4. Talk about your daily life outside the cricket field.
Outside cricket field I love to spend time with my family. I have 2 dogs as pets so when I’m free I always love to spend time and play a lot with them. I love to play table tennis, collect new songs & also go out with my friends.
5. What is the difference between under 19 cricket and first class cricket ?
There is a lot of difference between the two. Personally I feel, U19 level has less competition. I enjoyed playing U19 as pressure was less. But it paved the way to make me a better player for first class cricket. U19 is the best platform to directly enter first class or senior team even.
But when I entered into first class cricket, I noticed that players are more mature and experienced. You learn to deal with pressure and ups n downs of the game. When I entered IPL, I saw the professionalism of many players. Met many international players. Got to learn from the best players around the world. I got tips on what to eat and what not to eat, the necessity to train harder and importance of good sleep which I never bothered about in U19.
6. Did you ever had a serious injury ? Did it let your morale down ?
Yes, I had two major injuries. 3 years ago I suffered a stress fracture in my back and it took me almost 6 months to recover. And recently, a year back I had a major shoulder surgery.
I didn’t let the injuries affect my morale. I did get frustrated at times because I missed many tournaments during the injuries. But that time period helped me to handle situations thrown out of the blue and also it helped me learn how to cope with bad times. It made me mentally stronger.
7. What was your best journey so far in the world of cricket ?
In the world of cricket you cannot have one special journey. This industry is filled with special moments that build you as a good sportsperson and a human being.
Winning U19 World Cup in 2012 is one of my fondest memories. Playing my first game for Punjab in first class cricket is another.
Another one that comes to mind is getting the wickets of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle twice in the same season of IPL and receiving Man Of The Match award in the same matches.
Last but not the least, my warmest memory to date is receiving call for Indian Team. It was a proud moment to represent my country.
8. Before getting established into Indian cricket team, did you ever face rejections ? How did you overcome it ?
Luckily, I haven’t faced many rejections because U19 is a great platform to establish yourself in any team. So after U19 World Cup, I had a place in Punjab Ranji Trophy Team and it gave me the opportunity to perform there and get selected for IPL. By Gods grace I have been playing well for last 4 years in KingsXIPunjab team. I have faced 2-3 rejections but I never take rejections in a negative sense. I take it as an opportunity to introspect on my game and improve that aspect which made me suffer a rejection. I take it as an opportunity to make myself a better cricketer.