Joginder Sharma © Getty Images
Joginder Sharma © Getty Images

Born, October 23, 1983, Joginder Sharma is a cricketer from India, who made sporadic appearances for the national team. He is a bowling all-rounder from the state of Haryana and he has also captained the side. Joginder is famous for his last over in the inaugural World Twenty20 (T20) final against Pakistan, in 2007. On his 32nd birthday, Abhishek Kumar looks at 10 interesting points about him.

1. Humble background: Joginder comes from a very humble background. His father ran a local pan shop during his growing up years.

2. First attention: Prior to making his international debut, Joginder impressed in a four-day match against India Seniors in Bangalore in September 2004. Representing India A, he picked up the wickets of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh. A few months later, he was picked the ODI side.

3. Debut with MS Dhoni: Both Joginder and Dhoni made their international debut in the same game. Playing Bangladesh in an ODI on December 23, 2004, Joginder had a better debut than Dhoni. While Dhoni was run out for a duck, Joginder managed an unbeaten four-ball five and later picked up the key wicket of Mohammad Ashraful.

4. The first last over: The semi-final of India and Australia in T20 World Cup of 2007 is mainly remembered for Yuvraj Singh’s smashing knock of 70 runs from just 30 balls but there was another player who played a crucial role in winning the game. In the last over of the match, Australia needed 22 runs and Indian captain Dhoni had only two options, either give the ball to experienced Virender Sehwag or to the inexperienced Joginder — who had already conceded 31 runs in his first two overs. But Dhoni went with his instinct and gave it to Sharma and rest is history.

He bowled two-dot balls first and then confirmed the win by scalping Mike Hussey in his third delivery following it with Brett Lee’s wicket in the fifth ball.


 

5. The big last over: The next game was the final and against Pakistan. Joginder was once again given the task of defending in the last over. Pakistan needed 13 runs to win and Misbah-ul-Haq was in a terrific form. Ahead of Harbhajan Singh, Dhoni went for Joginder. Obviously, Joginder was very nervous and started the over with a wide and followed it with a dot ball. The next one sailed over the long-on for a six. Pakistan now need six from four. Joginder kept calm and bowled a full-length ball on the stumps to Misbah, who went for a scoop over fine-leg.

Those watching on television thought it was a six but Sreesanth at short fine-leg pouched the catch to give India a five-run win. Joginder was one of the unsung heroes of that tournament and his popularity only soared. Surprisingly, Joginder didn’t play for India after this.

6. Reward: Joginder became famous for his last over against Pakistan in the WorldT20 final, which led him to a reward of Rs 21 Lakh from Haryana government for his contribution.

7. The forgotten last over: In the inaugural season of Indian Premier League (IPL), Joginder, once again playing under Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), bowled another last over in a league match against Mumbai Indians (MI). This time Dhoni had no option other than Joginder. MI required 19 runs from the last over with Abhishek Nayar on strike. Joginder conceded two boundaries in his first two balls followed by a no-ball. The match went in a tense mode but he remained calm. MI needed nine from four.

The best thing for him was Ashish Nehra was on strike, whom he tackled very easily by two back-to-back yorkers but he Nehra managed to take a single off the fourth ball. Nayar missed the fifth ball and conceded a single off his last. CSK won the match by six runs.

8. Comparisons with Kapil Dev: Though it may sound like an unfair comparison, many have compared Joginder with former Indian captain Kapil Dev. Both played for Haryana and both were seam-bowling all-rounders. Joginder has exceptional record in First-Class and List A cricket. Joginder averages close to 25 with the bat and just over 21 with the ball in First-Class cricket. In List A, he averages 19.25 with the willow and 22.52 with the ball.

9. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP): Following his success in World T20 in 2007, Joginder was appointed the DSP by the Haryana government on October 5, 2007 and was further deputed for Basic Training at Haryana Police Academy in Madhuban.

10. Accident Trauma: On November 24, 2011, Joginder was injured in a road accident when he was going back from a session with acupuncture specialist Jatin Chaudhry and his vehicle clashed with a car. He sustained a head injury and needed surgery. Though, he was soon out of danger but he was not able to play for more than six months.