But he has been a seasoned campaigner on the domestic circuit and life dealt him a severe blow a couple of years ago when the all-rounder met with a serious car accident.
Sharma was the pick of the Haryana bowlers yesterday, taking 5-16 and ensured that Haryana are in with a fighting chance of upsetting defending champions Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy opener at the Bansi Lal Stadium today.
Recalling the accident that took place in November 2011, Joginder said, “I am thankful to Ranbir Singh Mahendra and my physio Amit Tyagi as I was coming from a big accident.”
Joginder had a fracture and clotting, for which he needed surgery. Speaking in detail about the time following the mishap and his chances of making a comeback, the modest all-rounder said, “I spoke to the doctor about the injury... then it seemed a comeback was tough but my physio helped, Anirudh Sir helped. I followed the doctor’s advice and worked hard.
“After the injury I was in the hospital for 10-11 days and another 3-4 days in ICU. That was followed by 3-4 months’ bed rest. After nine months I met the physio. It all seemed tough, in fact the first 4-5 months were the toughest of my life and I don’t want to remember that,” he said.
“But then I started training, played less matches and slowly recovered,” Joginder said. Asked about the role played by former India opener Ajay Jadeja, who has made a comeback to domestic cricket, Joginder said, “His arrival has changed the atmosphere in the team.
He knows so much about the game. I have heard today only that he was known as guruji in the Indian team. He has a different way of leading the side, inspiring the players, setting the fields.”