Team India won the three-match T20I series against New Zealand by a 1-0 margin, with the third and final match ending in a tie due to rain, with both teams’ scores level through the Duckworth-Lewis method. Former India selector Saba Karim hailed the Vidarbha cricketer for his impressive performances in his maiden IPL season.
Following the T20Is, the Men in Blue will play a three-match One-Day International series. The first match is scheduled to take place at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday, November 25. The tour’s next two matches will take place in Hamilton and Christchurch on November 27 and 30. Shikhar Dhawan will captain the team, with Rishabh Pant remaining as vice-captain.
Jitesh Sharma Performance Is Very Good – Saba Karim
Speaking to India News on Wednesday, Saba Karim feels that the selectors should include Punjab Kings (PBKS) wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma in India’s T20 setup in the wake of Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan’s struggles. When asked if KL Rahul can be a full-time wicketkeeper, he responded that he first needs to fit in as a batter in the XI.
“Jitesh Sharma. He plays for Vidarbha. His performance is very good. He also plays for Punjab Kings. He has impressed in IPL. There are a lot of wicket-keeper batters. They should get a chance,” Saba Karim said.
“No wicket-keeper comes into the limelight with his keeping. Everyone looks for batting prowess, which is given importance. It’s demand in T20 cricket. If you talk about KL Rahul [as a wicket-keeper], selectors will have to check whether he fits as a batter in the team,” he added.
KL Rahul failed to deliver against top sides like Pakistan, South Africa, and England in the recently concluded World Cup, scoring four, nine, and five runs, respectively. Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, failed to deliver as openers after India started a new transition phase in T20Is following their exit from the T20 World Cup. In two innings against New Zealand, the duo scored 17 and 46 runs, respectively.
Meanwhile, Jitesh Sharma stole the show in his IPL 2022 debut season with PBKS. The 29-year-old scored 234 runs in 12 games with a 163.64 strike rate. He also looked promising behind the stumps, inflicting 11 dismissals.