Uncapped wicketkeeper-batter, to join India‘s T20 World Cup squad as a reserve

Virender Sehwag backs Jitesh Sharma as reserve wicketkeeper-batter for T20 World Cup

IPL 2022: After a mid-innings slump, the 28-year-old from Punjab Kings demonstrated his finishing flair by smashing an unbeaten 38 off only 18 balls to prop up their total to 189/5…

Jitesh, who was promoted ahead of the more experienced Liam Livingstone, smashed four boundaries and two sixes to demonstrate his worth as a consistent middle-order batsman.

“He has impressed quite a bit… So should we also include him in the Australia-bound T20 World Cup squad?” Sehwag said in ‘Cricbuzz Live – Talking Points’.

“I am just asking because whoever scores runs, we keep them in the category of potential players for the World Cup. But no doubt, he has impressed me a lot.

“If i had to select the team, I would take him to Australia as a second wicketkeeper-batter for the T20 World Cup (in September-October),” Sehwag said.

Ishan Kishan, Dinesh Karthik, and Sanju Samson were among those vying for the reserve wicketkeeper-batters’ spot. But Sehwag pushed Jitesh ahead of them all.

“Ishan Kishan is a wicketkeeper-batter, Rishabh Pant is a wicketkeeper-batter, (Wriddhiman) Saha is a wicketkeeper-batter but out of all of them, if there is someone who has impressed me the most is Jitesh Sharma.

“The flair with which he bats… He has no fear, he comes into bat and expresses himself. Also he knows on what ball to play a shot over the covers, what ball I need to play over mid-off and mid-on,” Sehwagh hailed.

Jitesh’s sixes against Yuzvendra Chahal, bending outside the crease. And heaving it over wide long on, reminded Sehwag of VVS Laxman’s sixes against Shane Warne.

“He reminded me of VVS Laxman with the six he hit off Yuzvendra Chahal… Laxman used to hit Shane Warne with an open stance over mid-wicket. He has impressed me quite a bit.”

Jitesh, who was bought for Rs 20 lakh, has scored 162 runs in seven innings. Also including two unbeaten innings, and has a strike rate of 167.01.

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