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  5. I don't compromise on strike rate for the number of runs: Jitesh Sharma on his mindset in T20 cricket

I don't compromise on strike rate for the number of runs: Jitesh Sharma on his mindset in T20 cricket

The new breed of cricketers after playing in domestic cricket and the IPL are coming up through the ranks with an aggressive mindset and Jitesh Sharma is one of them. Having impressed in the IPL playing for Punjab Kings, Jitesh has been aggressive and has shown positive intent with the bat.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: January 12, 2024 20:32 IST
Jitesh Sharma played a quickfire knock of 31 runs against
Image Source : AP Jitesh Sharma played a quickfire knock of 31 runs against Afghanistan in the first T20I

T20 cricket after beginning in 2005 has evolved over the years and as it nears its 20-year mark, several changes have come in terms of playing style, mindset and approach. Earlier, it seemed to be a shorter version of ODI cricket but soon it carved its own niche and now is probably the most popular format among the three in international cricket.

Now, the players look to get the most out of those 120 balls, hence the mindset has changed and similarly for India too, after a couple of failures in the T20 World Cup, there has been a deliberate attempt from the selectors and the team management to bring in those players, who are able to create that impact because it took a long time to realise for everyone that a 10-ball 25 will help the team more than a 40-ball 50. One of such inclusions has been Jitesh Sharma, who made his mark with those quick cameos in the IPL playing for Punjab Kings and in domestic cricket for Vidarbha before getting the nod for international cricket.

Jitesh has played just eight games for India but has already played three impactful knocks in six innings so far and now playing with the first-choice side, he might have not gotten a chance earlier since he didn't have the volume of runs but is now getting opportunity and still scoring those 20-30 runs and is getting appreciated. And that's what matters for Jitesh as well.

Speaking after the first T20I against Afghanistan where he scored a 20-ball 31 in a 159-run chase on JioCinema, Jitesh said, "I don’t compromise my strike rate for runs. I always go for strike rate. It is the demand of the game. I think the runs I score will make it easier for the upcoming batters, who are yet to bat, so that’s my goal.

“My focus now will be to finish the games. I want to help the team win. I love finishing the games but nowadays, I am not finishing, but I promise I will finish games,” Jitesh added.

That doesn't mean Jitesh wouldn't want to play a longer innings, if he can stay for longer with that strike rate, so be it, but that wouldn't be his first priority. And that's why players like Jitesh, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been trusted by the management ahead of the T20 World Cup. Who gets in the final squad, that's up to the selectors, but all four of them being together in a side definitely shows a change in thought process, which is a step in the right direction.

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