Jitesh Sharma, the wicket-keeper batsman for PBKS, has been one of the talented youngsters that astonished the team by demonstrating his aggressive batting ability in the lower middle order and delivering some impressive finishing touches for the team in the recently finished IPL 2022.
Punjab Kings (PBKS) put together a strong team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction earlier this year in anticipation of the 2022 season, but they were still unable to compete. While massively investing in seasoned campaigners, PBKS also acquired some impressive young players to bolster their team and Jitesh Sharma was one of them.
Jitesh gained notoriety as one of the greatest lower-order Indian batters in the competition and gave his side swift finishes frequently. This spurred the legendary Indian batsman Virender Sehwag to propose his inclusion in the Indian side for the T20 WC as the “back-up” wicket-keeper. Following his team’s final tournament game, Jitesh spoke about his candid conversation with Kagiso Rabada, one of his mates, who made an outrageous assertion that the player would soon serve India. The South African pacer made a hilarious request to be dealt with kindly when they face off against one another in an international match, as per the PBKS stumper.
“After the last match, Kagiso Rabada called me up, asked me to sit beside him, and said ‘do you think you can play for India?’. I said ‘KG, I don’t think about the future. I try to focus on every match, taking it one match at a time and concentrate on every single day.’ He said ‘I think, in a few years, I’m going to bowl to you in international cricket, just don’t smash me,” Jitesh told in a conversation with sports presenter Yash Kashikar’s show “Say Yash to Sports”.
The 28-year-old, who was participating in his first IPL, scored 234 runs in just 12 matches with a phenomenal strike rate of 164.64. He got signed by the 2014 runner-up in the mega auction for the initial price of Rs. 20 lakhs, and of all the batters in the IPL, he had one of the greatest numbers in the middle overs. The right-hander did not partake in the first few matches of Punjab Kings’, but when presented with the opportunity, he seized it with both hands and even urged PBKS to sideline an important player like M. Shahrukh Khan.
Jitesh also highlighted the teachings from Jonny Bairstow, England’s brash opener, and revealed that he “copied his stance” for a while.
“I tried to grab as much knowledge as possible from Jonny. I still remember 2-3 years back, I used to copy his stance. I saw him hitting a hundred and smashing the Australian team, and became his fan. He is a brilliant man who always came up to guide me and gave me a lot of feedback because he wants to see me on a bigger level,” Jitesh added.