Joginder Sharma has a few things in common with Kapil Dev. He plays for Haryana, can give the ball a mighty thwack and has the surprise factor with his nippy medium pace. Most importantly, he has the convention-defying streak that Kapil displayed everytime he played. Joginder bowls with a mixed action and can trouble the best with his lively seam bowling - like he did to Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh while playing for India A against India Seniors before the Australia series. With two successive hundreds and a ten-wicket haul at the start of the 2004-05 Ranji Trophy season, he won himself a place in India's one-day squad for the tour to Bangladesh. He was back to the grind of domestic cricket after that series but outstanding performances in the next two years won him a spot in the squad for the home series against West Indies in early 2007. Joginder will perhaps always be remembered as the bowler who dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq in the final of the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 to cap mad scenes in Johannesburg. Sharma, India's least likely bowling hero, had bowled three outstanding overs for 13 runs, taking one wicket, but it was that last dismissal that turned him into a hero. He has not played another game for India since, but was picked up by the Indian Premier League's Chennai franchise, the Super Kings.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (April 2008)