ANI Photo | “Would be glad to bat even at number 11 for India”: Punjab Kings batter Jitesh Sharma

Punjab Kings (PBKS) wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma said that there is a lot of professionalism and sense of maturity in the Indian dressing room and added that if he gets selected to play, he would be happy to bat even at number 11 for the Men in Blue.
Jitesh has made a name for himself with his performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and 2023 with Punjab Kings. In 26 matches, he has scored 543 runs for PBKS at an average of 25.86, with a strike rate of 159.24. His best individual score is 49* for Punjab.
During the T20I series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, Jitesh got his maiden call-up to the national side after Sanju Samson was injured. However, he did not play any games. He had a solid IPL 2023 after that, in which he scored 309 runs in 14 matches at an average of 23.77 and at a strike rate of 156.06. His best score was 49*. His ability to play game-changing cameos and hit massive sixes from ball one earned him a lot of praise.
“I have played with or against almost all of them in domestic cricket, whether it is Hardik [Pandya], Surya [Yadav] bhai or someone else. But as I look back at the time spent in that dressing room, I realise there was a lot of professionalism there, and also belief in me. I was there for the first time but they already knew what kind of player I was and what role I play,” said Jitesh as quoted to ESPNCricinfo in an interview.
“There was a sense of maturity there, and it seemed they believed that there was not much need to give a lot of feedback to the players. I had a lot of space during those two series [against Sri Lanka and New Zealand] and there was a very healthy atmosphere. The captain and the coaches even spoke freely and pointed out where I can get better,” he added.
The wicketkeeper-batter said that he spoke to head coach Rahul Dravid about maintaining a healthy strike rate. Dravid expressed to him that he should play with freedom.
“I even spoke to Rahul [Dravid] sir about how to maintain a good strike rate even if the side is four down early. He said, “If you are going out to bat at four or five down, half the side is gone anyway, so focus on what you know best. Just give yourself some time and focus on the kind of game you know best.”
I was also a bit close to Paras [Mhambrey] sir (the bowling coach), who has been a coach at Vidarbha. He asked me not to worry about anything and that nobody would judge me there. All he wanted me to do was to pay attention to my batting and keeping,” concluded Jitesh.
Jitesh said that he would now feel a lot more comfortable when he enters the dressing room once again.
“I feel that if I enter the Indian dressing room now, I would feel a lot more comfortable after that experience. I have already interacted with them once. And if selected to play, I will be glad to bat even at No. 11 for India!,” said Jitesh.
On his goals for the upcoming domestic season, Jitesh said that he aims to play better for Vidarbha.
“Also, even though I feel I am well established there, I want to do something that helps them win trophies. My aim is to share my experience with the newcomers and also give them some confidence,” added Jitesh.
Jitesh has played 17 first-class matches. In these, he has scored 632 runs at an average of 25.28. He has four half-centuries in the format, with the best score of 69.
In List-A cricket, Jitesh has scored 1,350 runs at an average of 32.14. He has scored two centuries and seven fifties in 43 innings, with best score of 107.
He has also played 90 T20 matches, in which he has scored 2,096 at an average of 29.11. He has scored one century and nine fifties, with the best score of 106. (ANI)

Subscribe to our Newsletter

ANI News Logo
About ANI


ANI is a leading multimedia news agency.


Uttar Pradesh has become a standard of development, security and good governance: CM Yogi Adityanath

“It’s not always going to work”: Travis Head on his batting approach