Punjab Kings' and IPL's newest sensation Jitesh Sharma opened up about the advice Rohit Sharma gave him when he was with the Mumbai Indians. The Maharashtra-born player said he enjoys watching the Indian skipper bat and does so before walking out to play.
Jitesh Sharma made a significant contribution to the Punjab Kings' 12-run win over Mumbai Indians on Wednesday. The keeper-batter, who usually plays as an opener, made an impression as a finisher. He struck a 15-ball 30, laced with two fours and as many sixes to drive the Kings to a winning total of 198.
In an interview published on the Punjab Kings' website, the Vidharba cricketer recalled Rohit's advice to use the pace of the ball instead of hitting them hard. The 28-year old stated:
"I was trying to hit hard in the nets there. Rohit came up to me and asked me to use the pace of the ball. I remember that advice till today. You know, when a bowler is bowling at 135/145kmph, he asked me to time the ball and divert it towards the part of the field I was targeting. I didn’t need to add any more speed to it than what it carried."
Despite being with the Mumbai Indians in 2016 and 2017, the right-handed batter only made his debut in IPL 2022 after being bought by PBKS in the auction that year. The keeper-batter made an impact straight away, hitting three sixes against the Chennai Super Kings in a winning cause.
"I genuinely enjoy watching him bat" - Jitesh Sharma
He stated that as an opener, he followed Rohit closely and watched him before going out to bat. In this regard, the 28-year old added:
"I was with that side for two years. As an opener, I used to love watching Rohit Sharma play from close quarters. Whenever I would get out to bat, whichever game or wherever I used to play, I would also get on the field after watching a video of Rohit batting on the internet. You can call this a superstition maybe, but this is what I would do before getting down to playing. I genuinely enjoy watching him bat."
Punjab Kings, who are yet to win the IPL trophy, have made a decent start to their campaign. They have won three out of five games and will face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, April 17.