A tall legspinner capable of extracting extra bounce from pitches, Rahul Sharma made a name for himself with impressive performances for Pune Warriors in the 2011 IPL. He dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in Pune's match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium and then had figures of 2 for 7 in the return fixture at the DY Patil Stadium. Those performances helped him find a place in the Indian ODI squad for the home series against England in October 2011. He did not make the playing XI in that series or the Tests against West Indies that followed, but finally debuted in the fourth ODI against West Indies in Indore in December. He enjoyed a good bit of success in the match, striking with the last ball of each of his first three overs to derail West Indies.