Jitesh Sharma and Ishan Kishan could compete for the wicket-keeper’s spot in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad.
The hunt for India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad is intensifying with every passing match. For the wicket-keeper’s role, the likes of KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Jitesh Sharma have emerged as the biggest candidates. While Rahul looks like a certainty in the team, the second spot could be decided between Jitesh and Ishan. Though Ishan have the experience, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels Jitesh should edge the Mumbai Indians batter as he is a lower-order batter.
When it comes to India’s T20I team, the selectors are spoilt for choices in the top order. Ishan Kishan, Yashavi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and even Virat Kohli all like to open in T20Is. As the batting order goes lower, the options are reduced. Irfan, hence, feels Jitesh is a better option in comparison to Ishan.
“I will play Jitesh hands down. I have maintained from earlier that if you have to play Ishan, whether it is ODIs or T20Is, you have to play him at the top, and there is a traffic jam at the top,” Pathan said on Star Sports.
“It’s very difficult for Ishan Kishan to make his place. This is my belief. I don’t know at all what the team management thinks but his ability that I have judged for many years, I feel he needs the hard new ball and then he plays spin well,” he added.
Irfan also feels Jitesh is a Suryakumar Yadav kind of player and offers a better creative profile in comparison to Ishan.
“When you bat in the middle order, you will get spin in front of you, and there you (Kishan) might have difficulties at times. Jitesh Sharma is a slightly creative player. He is a Suryakumar Yadav-mold type player. You will see him playing the lap and different types of shots,” he elaborated.
“His growth in T20 cricket in the last one to one-and-a-half years has been fantastic. He has been doing the finisher’s role extremely well for the Punjab Kings in the IPL and he recently played two very good innings (for India). His strike rate is always impressive and he plays both spin and fast bowling well,” Pathan further said.