Adelaide: Debutant leg-spinner Karn Sharma has praised the Indian team management, particularly skipper Virat Kohli and team director Ravi Shastri, for encouraging him ahead of the first Test versus Australia here on Tuesday.
Opting to bat first, the hosts finished day one at 354 for six. "I just got to know this morning that I will be making my debut," said Sharma.
"I had this confidence that I will get a chance sooner or later on this tour. But getting it in the first match itself is very good for me."
"Mentally and technically, Ravi Shastri helps a lot. All our support staff and coaches are also helping me. They give me confidence that I must continue to bowl the way I have been.
"Skipper Virat Kohli told me previously to bowl the way I bowl and he will give the field according to my strengths," he added. Sharma bowled decently for a debutant spinner on a day one flat track at the Adelaide Oval.
He finished with figures of 1-89 from 23 overs, taking the crucial wicket of centurion David Warner who scored his 10th Test hundred. "Basically my aim is to bowl good line and length. This is what I bowl in T20 cricket and ODIs. I just want to continue to do that. Getting hit is a part and parcel of the game.
"I am happy that I broke a crucial partnership and I just want to continue doing that," said Sharma. When asked if he felt any nerves about bowling as early as the 18th over on his Test debut, the leg-spinner replied, "I tried bowling like I have been in domestic cricket.
"It doesn't change whether it is Australia, England or West Indies. I always try to bowl that way. You have to control your nerves when you play for your country."
India struck back late in the day with the second new ball, taking three wickets in the last hour's play in addition to that of Warner earlier on. "It was very good for us that we came back in the last session. We just want to continue that in the morning tomorrow and get crucial wickets.
"This pitch is good for batting, there is neither turn nor bounce, but it should take some turn from day three or four. If we take three-four wickets early morning tomorrow, then it will be good for us," he said.
Last but not the least, he was asked if the emotional tributes to Phillip Hughes affected the Indian team.
"Of course it did. There were pictures of him all over the stadium and it was a very emotional day," Sharma signed off.