Rahul started as a medium pacer but soon turned to leg spin on his coach Devender Arora's insistence (Devender Arora is also Harbhajan Singh's coach). He made his debut in first class cricket on 25 December 2006 for Punjab against Rajasthan, but had to wait till 2009 to play again. In 2009-10 season of the Ranji Trophy, he took 13 wickets in seven first class games. Rahul played only one Ranji match in the 2010-11 season.
Rahul hails from a middle-class family. Rahul's father Pradeep Sharma, is an assistant sub inspector in Punjab Police and his mother Indu sharma is a homemaker. Rahul is a graduate in Commerce from Delhi University and has been auctioned in the IPL for high prices. He currently resides in Jalandhar with his mother, father, sister and a brother.
In 2010, Rahul Sharma made his IPL debut for Deccan Chargers. He took just five wickets and went at 8.08 an over in the six matches he played for Deccan Chargers. In the 2011 IPL, Rahul Sharma made a name for himself with some good bowling performances for Pune Warriors. His figures of 4-0-7-2 against Mumbai Indians were the most economical of 2011 Indian Premier League and the performance created enough of a buzz to see his name trend on Twitter in India.
On 8 December 2011, Rahul Sharma made his ODI debut for India in the 4th ODI against the West Indies and took three wickets. All three batsmen were bowled. In the same match Virender Sehwag set a new record(219) for the highest score in ODIs.
Rahul Sharma scored his first run in One Day Internationals against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 5 February 2012. He scored 1 run off 2 balls before being bowled by Xavier Doherty.
Rahul Sharma, who tested positive for drugs has been left out from the ODI squad for the first ODI against SriLanka at Hambantota.
On 1 February 2012, Rahul Sharma made his Twenty20 International debut for India in the 1st T20 of the series against Australia at the Stadium Australia/Sydney Olympic Park currently known as ANZ Stadium.He injured his finger while bowling his first over but came back later to continue bowling. His first Twenty20 International wicket was that of David Hussey who was bowled clean.
Twenty20 International Bowling Statistics of Rahul Sharma