T20 hero Joginder raring to go in IPL

Out of action and nursing an injury, Joginder Sharma is waiting to make a mark for Chennai in the Indian Premier League.

updated: March 19, 2008 07:14 IST
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He'll always be remembered as the man who bowled that final over when India won the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup final.

But it seems he's a forgotten man as far as national team selection goes these days. Luckily for him, he was worth nearly a crore in the IPL auctions and was bought by the Chennai team. That kind of valuation has put him back on the comeback trail.

At Joginder's home in Rohtak, pictures of the Twenty20 triumph adorn the drawing room. The last over against Pakistan has been the highest point in the all-rounder's 8-match international career.

"Earlier my life was different," Joginder said. "But there have been a lot of changes. The World Cup is considered a big thing and India happened to win the first edition. Since then, people have started recognising me it feels good."

Thousands of people had gathered outside his home to catch a glimpse of the Twenty20 hero shortly after his return from South Africa.

But after that he has neither featured in the Twenty20 nor in the One-day. Now, the Indian Premier League IPL will give him an opportunity to prove his all round talents again.

"Money isn't that important to me," the Haryana player said. "For me it is important that I shall be a part of the IPL. It is as big as the World Cup. Players from different countries will come. I will get to learn a lot. And if I perform well in this, I can go to the next level."

Joginder saw his national prospects being hampered by a ligament injury. It has kept him out if action for four months.

"I went to several doctors," he said. "Some also suggested that I undergo surgery but I wasn't in favour of that. Now I am bowling and I am 99 per cent fit."

"The remaining one per cent it would be done soon."

Joginder's fitness issues means he's not in contention for national selection. But that's good news for Chennai, because Joginder will be out to give his all in the IPL games.