“Rohit Sharma’s first choice will be Rishabh Pant” – Suresh Raina
By SMCS - Jan 13, 2024 10:40 am
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Former India player Suresh Raina has said that Jitesh Sharma is in contention for a place in Team India’s squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup. However, he also feels Rishabh Pant will be Rohit Sharma’s first choice if he gets fit on time and becomes available. Meanwhile, Pant is yet to return to action since a horrific car accident in December 2022 whereas Jitesh smashed a 20-ball 31 in India’s six-wicket win in the first T20I against Afghanistan in Mohali on Thursday, January 11.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant thanked the people who saved him

During a discussion on Colors Cineplex, Raina said: “I feel Sanju Samson can be a weapon as he can bat anywhere. Jitesh is also there but I feel Rohit Sharma’s first choice will be Rishabh Pant, depending on what he does in the two months (of the IPL), because he keeps well, and will be making a comeback.”

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The former India again stated: “Ishan Kishan is another option. Jitesh Sharma is keeping exceptionally well and has done well in batting whenever he has got a chance. However, Sanju Samson brings impact. He plays big knocks. He thinks like a captain and captains the Rajasthan Royals as well. I have great confidence in him.”

Jitesh Sharma
Jitesh Sharma was at his fiery best

However, Suresh Raina named Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan as the first two picks if Team India wants a left-handed wicketkeeper-batter in the squad. While claiming that Kishan and Samson are also X-factors, he added that his first pick will be Pant as well. Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha also shared his thoughts on Jitesh Sharma’s place in India’s T20 World Cup squad.

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“He will be in the top two. I feel like that considering the way he is being given opportunities. However, there is another name who has been specially requested not to bat at the top but in the middle order, and that is KL Rahul,” he stated. “KL Rahul was asked to bat at No. 5 or No. 6 for his franchise in the IPL and to understand the importance of that place. So he will also be in the coach and captain’s minds, depending on how he performs, because he is also your ODI captain as of now and is keeping in Tests as well. So a lot of faith is being shown in him.”