‘Jonny Bairstow said ‘you can represent India’ – Jitesh Sharma opens up on experience with Punjab Kings in IPL 2022

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Jitesh Sharma, who played his first IPL season for Punjab Kings last year, opened up about the positive atmosphere in the dressing room at the franchise and how the team supports the players to get the most out of them. Notably, the 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman shared the dressing room with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone during the 2022 season.

The Vidarbha batsman had a dominant season as a finisher last year, scoring 234 runs at a strike rate of 163.64. He also explained that his teammates and coaches supported him throughout the season and that helped him perform better.

“What I have learned so far in Punjab Kings is that the players here have a strong belief in their talent and skills. Whenever there is a newcomer in the team, he is always a bit nervous whether he can live up to expectations. But when Shikhar noticed brother, Mayank, Bairstow, Vanuka, Livingstone, etc. I realized that they have incredible confidence. It really helped me express myself and gave me some confidence,” he told Sportskida.

Jitesh impressed England’s Jonny Bairstow with his batting ability, as the former felt that he was ready to represent India in T20Is. “I had many interactions during IPL 2022, but the one that will always be remembered is with Jonny Bairstow. He once approached me and told me that I have the potential to represent my country at the highest level in the T20 format. He gave me advice. Towards my performance. Concentrate and don’t worry too much about the election,” said Jitesh.

Open about his role as a finisher, Jitesh said that a player needs mental toughness and he tried to take the game deep. “As a finisher, you have to be practical and accept that you will be in situations where you will win some games for your team, but lose some. You cannot be a hero in every game, all you can do is try. And every Take the game as close to your team’s win as possible. So I always believe in taking the game deep and trying to be there at the end to help my team get over the line,” he said.

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