Mumbai: Pune Warriors leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who has been the find of the IPL 4 in the spin department, said that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar made his day when he praised him.
"It was a big day when Sachin paaji praised me at the prize distribution ceremony. That was a big day for me as he is like god to me. I felt very happy to be praised by him," Sharma told PTI.
"I wanted to do something good this year so that I could get into some sort of national reckoning. Never thought that I would have so much of luck. I am feeling very good that I have done well," said Sharma, who has taken 14 wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of 5.24.
Despite Pune Warriors losing the match by 23 runs, Sharma had bagged the Man-of-the-Match award in the match against Mumbai Indians at Mumbai last Wednesday after conceding just seven runs in his four-over spell and bagging two wickets, including that of Tendulkar.
The 24-year-old, who has played nine first-class games for Punjab taking 16 wickets, said he is in constant touch with India's leading Test wicket-taker and his role model Anil Kumble to improve his bowling.
"I met him last year for the first time during the IPL. I try talking to him on phone and also meet him sometimes. I try to get his advice whenever possible. He encourages me saying that I'm doing well. He also tells me on how to go about my bowling," Sharma said.
The lanky leg-spinner said he is learning from spinners Harbhajan Singh and Murali Kartik, and had also met spin legend Shane Warne in Jaipur to take his advice.
"I met Shane Warne in Jaipur, (Murali) Kartik bhai also helps a lot in the nets. I am in touch with Bhajji bhai as well," Sharma said.
"Shane Warne told me that I was doing well for a youngster. He also advised me on how to bowl various deliveries. He told me to vary my deliveries," he added.
Asked about the trauma he suffered after suffering facial nerve damage last year, Sharma said, "It was a horrific night during the IPL season last year. I was sleeping and suddenly I woke up to find right side of my face aching.
"I could not move my jaw and there was pain. The doctor later told me that my facial nerves had burst. I had to take a lot of pills and also underwent therapy sessions. Now it is a little better."
Sharma also acknowledged the support of the Deccan Chargers, who he was representing when he suffered Bell's Palsy disorder, and his former skipper Adam Gilchrist when he was trying to overcome the ordeal.
"Gilchrist was very supportive. When I had the problem, he told me not to worry and they will take care of everything.
Deccan too chipped in with financial aid," he said.
Sharma said after the conclusion of the IPL, he was aiming to work harder on his bowling.
"After the remaining three matches, I will work more on my bowling and attend a few camps. I am not aiming big for now," he said.