‘He’s a ‘todo’ player, could get India call-up any time’: Shastri on IPL star | Cricket
league stage of 2023 Indian Premier League With five teams (ranked second to sixth) on the table with 10 points each, it looks set for an exciting finish. Defending champions Gujarat Titans (12 points) remain at the top spot despite their loss to Delhi Capitals on Tuesday, while last year’s finalists Rajasthan Royals, Lucknow Super Giants and four-time winners Chennai Super Kings are second, third and fourth respectively. While Royal Challengers Bangalore are fifth on low net run rate Punjab Kings – who have been seriously inconsistent over the years – put in strong performances this season to finish sixth in the standings.
While Shikhar Dhawan’s consistent performances at the top of the order have been key to Punjab’s success, one player who has stood out with his incredible power-hitting skills is wicketkeeper-batsman Jitesh Sharma. While Jitesh displayed his potential last season as well, the 29-year-old star has been primarily being played as a finisher – and he has not disappointed. Jitesh has so far scored 190 runs in nine matches at a strike rate of 162.
And former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes Jitesh could earn an Indian call-up “any time” from now. While India’s immediate task after the IPL is the World Test Championship final (for which the squad has already been announced), the team is set to make a comeback in the limited overs format in the West Indies later this year.
“He is the find of the IPL. Rishabh Pant is unfortunately not available but this guy can enter the Indian team anytime. in the lower order he a todu (excellent) player. His keeping is excellent and he is fearless. You are talking about Shikhar, he didn’t play 2-3 matches due to injury, but his intent is amazing. He scored 20-25 runs but the intent with which he plays is amazing. And then, they have (Liam) Livingstone and (Sam) Curran,” Shastri told ESPNcricinfo.
Jitesh will return to action later on Wednesday when his team takes on Mumbai Indians in Mohali.