A new year, but the injury crisis continues to hit Team India. This time, though, it is an on-field injury that ruled out Sanju Samson of the remaining two T20Is in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka due to a knee injury.
Samson, who scored 5 runs batting at number 4 in the first T20I at the Wankhede, hurt his left knee while attempting to field a ball near the boundary ropes. Although he fielded for the rest of the game, he later experienced swelling because of which he was asked to take medical advice.
Samson didn’t travel to Pune with the rest of the team where the 2nd T20I on Thursday will be played. “He was taken for scans and a specialist opinion this afternoon in Mumbai by the BCCI Medical Team and has been advised rest and rehabilitation,” the BCCI said. Rahul Tripathi is likely to take Samson’s position in the middle order and make his T20I debut.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has announced Vidarbha’s keeper-batsman Jitesh Sharma as Samson’s replacement for the rest of the T20I series.
Who is Jitesh Sharma? Here are some facts about him you should know
29-year-old Jitesh Sharma plays for Vidarbha in domestic cricket. But many fans would recognize him for his impressive IPL 2022 performances for Punjab Kings last year.
Jitesh Sharma donned the keeping gloves for PBKS in IPL 2022 and shone brightly with the bat. Coming in as a lower-order batter, Jitesh Sharma scored 234 runs in 10 knocks, at an average of 29, but it was his strike rate of 163, and often gave PBKS the late push in their innings.
The Maharashtra-born Jitesh Sharma has been playing in domestic cricket since 2014, however, he hadn’t been a regular keeper and a playing XI member until the last few seasons. Now finally has got his maiden India call-up.
His records are very much impressive: in 76 T20 matches, Jitesh averages 30, and again, his strike rate of 147 stands out. He’s cracked a century and 9 fifties in the shortest format. Jitesh Sharma averages 32 in List-A cricket as well and has notched up 2 List-A tons so far.
He had a solid start to his domestic career. Jitesh had broken into the Vidarbha senior side in the 2013-14 season on the back of convincing performances in the 2012-13 Cooch Behar Trophy, where he scored 537 runs in 12 innings with two centuries and a fifty. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2015-16, Jitesh finished as the third-highest run-getter in the tournament, scoring 343 runs at a strike rate of 143.51 with one century and two fifties.
While it was last year when Jitesh burst onto the IPL scene, it was back in the 2016 auction when the Mumbai Indians had bought him for 10 lahks. However, after that his domestic performances dipped a bit and he wasn’t picked in the IPL too until the 2022 auction, where Punjab bought him for 20 lahks and has been retained for 2023 IPL.