IND vs SL 2022-23: Who is Jitesh Sharma, the replacement for Sanju Samson in T20Is?
IND vs SL 2022-23: Sanju Samson has been ruled out of the remaining T20Is due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, Jitesh Sharma will be replacing him. But, who exactly is this lad?
Indian wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson has been ruled out of the remaining Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) against Sri Lanka with a knee injury that he suffered during the opening game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Jitesh Sharma will be taking his place in the squad for the remaining contests. But, who exactly is this lad?
For starters, Jitesh is also a wicketkeeper-batter from Vidarbha who hails from Amravati city. He began his cricketing journey in 2014 when he debuted for the side during the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2013-14. The same season, he also made his Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy debut, followed by his Ranji Trophy debut a couple of seasons later.
Jitesh's crucial performances during the Cooch Behar Trophy 2012-13 earned him his Vidarbha debut, as he scored 537 runs in 12 innings, including a couple of tons and a half-century in the former tournament. While he is primarily a top-order batter, he was the third-highest run-scorer during the SMAT 2015-16, hammering 343 runs at a strike rate of 143.51, including a ton and a couple of half-centuries.
Being an attacking batter, Jitesh caught the attention of record five-time former Indian Premier League (IPL) champion Mumbai Indians (MI) and was roped in for ₹10 lakh in IPL 2016. While he did not play a game for the side before being released, he was later roped in by Punjab Kings (PBKS) for IPL 2022.
In 12 IPL matches so far, Jitesh has gathered 234 runs in ten innings at an average of 29.25 and a glamorous strike rate of 163.64, which included 22 fours and 12 sixes, along with a top score of 44, while he has stayed unbeaten on a couple of occasions.
During the VHT 2018-19, Jitesh became the highest run-scorer for Vidarbha, collecting 298 in seven. His attacking intent has kept him from making a significant difference in First-Class (FC) cricket, but his impact in limited-overs format is noticeable. While he has been selected based on his performance in IPL 2022, it remains to be seen if he gets a contest under new Indian T20I skipper Hardik Pandya.