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I was preparing for the IPL and wasn’t on the Ranji team. Chetan sir called to inform me that I had been selected for India: jitesh Schmidt

Jitesh Sharma, who has been selected as a backup wicketkeeper-batsman for the New Zealand T20Is, discussed his feelings, journey, and the differences between the Indian dressing room and the IPL in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.

Jitesh Sharma and patience go hand in hand. So do unforeseen events. The majority of his cricketing journey serves as a soothing soundtrack, but there are times when it can also rival high-octane action thrillers.

In the first place, the wicketkeeper-batsman from Amaravati is a cricketer by chance. He wanted to join the armed forces, so he chose cricket because those who represented Maharashtra in the army tests got 4% extra credit.

He only began to seriously consider cricket as his first choice of career when he was selected for the Vidarbha U19 team.

Jitesh made his List A debut in 2014, scoring a century in his third match against an Uttar Pradesh team coached by Piyush Chawla, then an Indian spinner.

The IPL scouts were immediately impressed by his performance at the top of the order, and Mumbai Indians signed him in 2017. However, that was the end of the waiting game.

Jitesh was unable to break into the Mumbai Indians’ star-studded starting lineup, which ultimately won that year’s championship.

He was promptly released. Before he made the decision to drop down in the batting order, he had a waning domestic career that lasted for a few years.

He went from being an opener to a finisher in the 2021-2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy season, and his ability to hit six home runs made him immediately popular. With 19 sixes, he finished as the tournament’s best six-hitter.

He was picked up this time by Punjab Kings. Jitesh made his IPL debut for PBKS five years after a so-so season with MI. Last year, he played 12 games and scored 163 times.

After that, everything changed. At a strike rate of 160, no one expects a domestic player to score immediately. The majority of IPL teams believe that their main capped players will score.

“However, the fundamentals of cricket never change, so I know how to handle situations because I have played domestic cricket for so many years,” Jitesh told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.

The right-hander continued his excellent IPL play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s, hitting 13 sixes in ten matches to help Vidarbha reach the semi-finals.

The following domestic 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy did not go well for the right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman.

He received a call from India’s chairman of selectors just as he was mentally getting ready for another long wait for the IPL because he wasn’t in the Ranji Trophy squad. Chetan Sharma called me and informed me, “You have been selected for the two remaining matches against Sri Lanka.”

The 29-year-old stated, “I didn’t get any time to celebrate because I had to run for Pune for the remaining matches.”

For the two Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka, he was selected to replace Sanju Samson, who was out with a knee injury.

I did not anticipate receiving a call. I didn’t anticipate being called up. Because I wasn’t in the Ranji Trophy team, I was just getting ready for the IPL. Therefore, I was improving my fitness.

However, the call suddenly arrived for me. I was obviously delighted and eager for the opportunity. Everything changed after that phone call. I’m keeping things simple despite receiving a lot of calls from my family, school, and clubs.

The right-handed attacker remained in the India squad for the New Zealand T20Is on January 27. I now feel much more responsible.

When I enter the dressing room, I feel strong. Ye India ka call mila hai indicates that I am able to handle this responsibility because I have been called up to serve in India.

When asked about his position in the Indian team. Jitesh stated that he is aware that he must bat in the middle order and play attacking cricket. Yes, I understand my role.

If I get a chance, I will play as a finisher. I’ve played against many of these guys, including Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya. In domestic cricket or the Indian Premier League. The process of adjusting was effortless. They were all very welcoming.”

Jitesh also talked about the atmosphere in the Indian dressing room and the Indian Premier League.

In order for Jitesh, who has been selected as a backup keeper, to win an Indian cap. He is aware that he must continue developing his keeping skills alongside his batting.

It may come as a surprise, but Jitesh Sharma’s mother is unaware of the specifics of his cricketing accomplishments. She only cares about the happiness and well-being of her son.

My mother is a modest individual. She is still unaware of my participation in the Indian Premier League or my selection for the Indian team.

She inquires whether or not I can bowl. Without even attempting to persuade her that I am a keeper-batter, I say yes.

She will always warn me not to do anything unusual that could get me in trouble before I pack my bags to leave. No matter what I do on the cricket field, I will always be her little one for her.

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