Jitesh Sharma reveals Rahul Dravid's advice after selection in Indian squad for upcoming Asian Games
Jitesh was also selected as a replacement for Sanju Samson in the T20I series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
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The talented Vidharbha wicketkeeper-batter, Jitesh Sharma, has been named in the Indian squad for the Asian Games scheduled to take place in Hangzhou from September 23. The 29-year-old has been rewarded for his exceptional performances in the Indian Premier League 2023. Notably, it’s his second call-up to the Indian team after he was selected as a replacement for Sanju Samson in the T20I series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
Recently, Jitesh revealed the conversation he had with the Indian head coach, Rahul Dravid, during his time with the team. He revealed that the head coach told him to continue batting the way he’s been batting. Dravid also revealed that Team India are on a hunt for players like him to play an important role coming in at number five or six slot.
“Yes, I had discussions with Rahul sir, when I was selected during the home season a few months back. He said ‘Jaise batting kar rahein ho, waise hi karte raho. Aur yehi dekh rahe hain hum future ke liye. Humein aise players hi chahiye is position ke liye.’ (The way you are batting, continue in the same vein. We are specifically looking for players like these for certain batting positions (Nos 5 and 6)," Jitesh was quoted as saying by News18.
Notably, during the IPL 2023, Jitesh played the role of the finisher for Punjab Kings as he amassed 309 runs in 14 innings at an average of 23.76 and a strike rate of 156.06 with one half-century to his name. In the 90 T20 matches played in his career so far, he has scored 2096 runs at an average of 29.11 with one hundred and nine fifties to his name, respectively.
Ruturaj Gaikwad to lead India in upcoming Asian Games
The wicketkeeper batter has also inflicted 71 dismissals (57 catches and 14 stumpings). Apart from him Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Mukesh Kumar and his Punjab Kings teammate Prabhsimran Singh have also got a call-up for the Asian Games. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been entrusted with the captaincy duties for the tournament, where India have already qualified for the quarterfinals being the highest-ranked Asian team.
Notably, Cricket has previously been played in two editions of the Asian Games so far namely in Guangzhou (2010) and Incheon (2014). Sri Lanka are the defending champions, while Bangladesh won the inaugural edition. On the other hand, Afghanistan finished second in both editions.