Rabada said ‘do you think you can play for India? When you do, don’t smash me' - Hindustan Times

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  • Jitesh Sharma said after PBKS' last league match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, Kagiso Rabada walked up to him and said he feels Jitesh would go on to play for India in the coming years and have a battle with the South Africa pacer.
Jitesh Sharma of Punjab Kings IPL 2022(PTI) Jitesh Sharma of Punjab Kings IPL 2022(PTI)

Punjab Kings talented wicketkeeper batter Jitesh Sharma was one of the most impressive uncapped cricketers in the recently-concluded IPL 2022. The right-handed batter, who pies his trade for Vidarbha in domestic cricket, shared an interesting conversation with South Africa pace spearhead and PBKS teammate Kagiso Rabada during this year's IPL. Jitesh said after PBKS' last league match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rabada walked up to him and said he feels Jitesh would go on to play for India in the coming years and have a battle with the South Africa pacer.

"After the last match, Kagiso Rabada called me up, asked me to sit beside him and said 'do you think you can play for India?'. I said 'KG, I don't think about the future. I try to focus on every match, taking it one match at a time and concentrate on every single day.' He said 'I think, in a few years, I'm going to bowl to you in international cricket, just don't smash me'," Jitesh told sports presenter Yash Kashikar in 'Say Yash To Sports'.

Playing his first IPL, the 28-year-old scored 234 runs in 12 matches at a brilliant strike rate of 163.64. He had one of the best numbers in the middle overs among all batters in the IPL. The right-hander did not feature in the first few matches for Punjab Kings but once he was given an opportunity, he grabbed it with both hands and even forced PBKS to keep an impact player like M Shahrukh Khan out of the XI.

Jitesh also shared the learnings from England's dashing opener Jonny Bairstow and said he used to 'copy his stance' a couple of years.

"I tried to grab as much knowledge as possible from Jonny. I still remember 2-3 years back, I used to copy his stance. I saw him hitting a hundred and smashing the Australian team, and became his fan. He is a brilliant man who always came up to guide me and gave me a lot of feedback because he wants to see me on a bigger level," Jitesh added.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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