Having started his international career at the age of 20, Sharma quickly came to be pegged by many analysts as a permanent fixture in the Indian cricket team in the next decade. He made his ODI debut on 23 June 2007 against Ireland. In 2013, he started playing as an opening batsman for India ODI team and performed consistently. He scored consecutive centuries in his first two Test matches against the West Indies in November 2013, scoring 177 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on debut, followed by a score of 111* in the next Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He played 108 ODIs before playing his maiden Test.