Jitesh Sharma, a wicketkeeper-batsman, earned his first India call-up for the three-match series against Sri Lanka on Wednesday as compensation for his remarkable exploits in the local arena. Power-hitter Sanju Samson has been ruled out of the rest of the T20I series between Sri Lanka and the hosts India, therefore wicketkeeper Jitesh, an uncapped player, has been added to the Indian side.

During the just-completed first T20I match between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, Samson hurt his knee while trying to field a ball close to the boundary ropes. The all-India senior selection committee chose Jitesh to take Samson’s position as the injured wicketkeeper-batter for the rest of the T20I series. Samson-less Thursday at Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium will see the second Twenty20 International between Team India and Sri Lanka.

Before India’s second T20I match against the Islanders, wicketkeeper Jitesh praised the renowned cricketer MS Dhoni for his exceptional excellence. Dhoni, one of the best captains in cricket history, is the only one to have won the ICC World Cup, ICC World T20, and ICC Champions Trophy.

“There is no need to even mention how inspirational MS Dhoni has been to all cricket players, including me since in India, everything begins after him. He has always had such amazing glove work. When I have free time, I try to study his films to see how he manages pressure, plays the game long, or targets certain bowlers. By God’s grace, I’ll attempt to learn a lot more from him if I ever get the opportunity to speak with him in person “Jitesh said.

Jitesh has only participated in 12 matches in the Indian Premier League after being signed by the Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings for his basic salary of INR 20 lakh (IPL). In the lucrative league, the former Mumbai Indians hitter has scored 234 runs. For the second and third Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka, Jitesh has been added to the Indian team as a backup wicketkeeper. Therefore, it seems improbable that the PBKS wicketkeeper will play in the second T20I against Sri Lanka.