'We wanted to win by a big margin'

Rahul Sharma finished with 5/23 – his best Twenty20 figures – in India A’s huge win over West Indies ‘A’.

Bangalore: His newsworthiness is often a product of what happens off the field, but for once leg-spinner Rahul Sharma was in the limelight for the right reasons.Rahul Sharma (File Photo)

The tall Punjab and Pune Warriors bowler finished with 5/23 – his best Twenty20 figures – in India A’s huge win over the Carribeans at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday. The rich haul marked a rightful return to primacy for sport that has, at least twice, taken a backseat to Sharma’s lot off the pitch.

Action in Images
Yuvraj, Sharma star in India 'A' win

In 2010, it was facial nerve palsy and the resulting loss of vision that stalled his promising career. Having fought his way into the Indian ODI set-up in 2011, Rahul was derailed again when his partying and alleged substance abuse during IPL-2012 was revealed after a police bust in Mumbai.

“I am pleased to return with good performances after the IPL in 2012. It was a tough phase for me and I used to feel bad about it...even during this season. But I had the belief that I could come out of it and do well,” he said.

After a keenly contested-but-lost ODI series against West Indies ‘A’, Rahul admitted that the lone Twenty20 game was being approached with a sense of revenge.

“The T20 was expected to be more of a high-intensity contest when compared to the ODI series...we had lost that series...so it was important that we won and won by a big margin.”

The 26-year old Rahul has played four ODIs and two Twenty 20s for India. He also featured in India A's recent 'ODI' rout of New Zealand at Visakhapatnam.

Rival West Indian captain Kieran Powell, meanwhile, conceded that poor fielding had done in his side yet again.

“Catching has been a problem for us not just today but throughout the ODI series too. We have become a bit complacent and we will have to brush up our skills ahead of the four-day games.”

Powell, however, admitted that the tour so far had been a good one for his team.

“Overall, coming to India for the first time and playing against a strong home side, I am satisfied with the performances of my players. Although there are some areas like bowling and fielding that we have to improve in,” he concluded.

The teams will now play a three-match series of unofficial Tests.

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