Jitesh Sharma to lead Punjab Kings against Sunrisers Hyderabad as Sam Curran returns home | Crickit
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Jitesh Sharma to lead Punjab Kings against Sunrisers Hyderabad as Sam Curran returns home

May 18, 2024 05:05 PM IST

Jitesh Sharma insisted that his side will display fearless cricket on Sunday and will aim to finish off the season with a victory.

Wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma will lead the Punjab Kings side in their final match of the IPL 2024 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, on Sunday. Jitesh will take over the captaincy charge after English all-rounder Sam Curran returned home for international duties, and Shikhar Dhawan is still recovering from his injury.

Jitesh Sharma has been going through a lean patch this season.(PTI)
Jitesh Sharma has been going through a lean patch this season.(PTI)

Jitesh has been going through a lean patch in the ongoing IPL and scored 155 runs in just 13 matches at an average of 14.09 and also failed to get into India's T20 World Cup squad.

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While Punjab has not been able to progress further in the competition, Jitesh insisted that his side will display fearless cricket on Sunday and will aim to finish off the season with a victory.

"The mood is more positive in the dressing room than before because we have nothing to lose now. The season has been inconsistent for us. But we played really good cricket and we had many positives throughout the season. The way Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma have played was excellent, and Harpreet Brar and Prabhsimran Singh have also been in good form throughout the season. In cricket, things can change in an instant. We just missed out on some luck," Jitesh summed up the season for his side at the pre-match press conference.

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"Punjab Kings is famous for fearless cricket and we will be more fearless in the last game. Everyone will play with correct intent and we will be playing to win," the 30-year-old added.

Meanwhile, the English players in PBKS side - Curran, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone have returned home, while Chris Woakes left the season early due to personal reasons, will also not be available for the final game.

But Jitesh believes the absence of England players will not affect his side's morale against Hyderabad.

"We have selected a few players for different reasons and have a good bench. It's a good opportunity for us and Punjab Kings to test our ability and our talent. There is no loss or anything bad that English players are not there."

PBKS have had tough powerplay sessions with the bat this season, as the franchise lost early wickets in a few games. But Jitesh defended the top order and said that he is proud of the batting unit for always showcasing the right intent.

"I do not believe in numbers. I believe in good intent. The openers have shown good intent in each game. It's fine that the top order could not score more runs. But whenever they came to bat, they came to bat for the team, and not for themselves. You can see clearly, that they tried to give us a good start. That is more important," Jitesh said.

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