Yash Mittal ∙ May 18 2023, 10:15 AM | 2 Min Read

'Impressed Me The Most.....'Sikandar Raza Backs Jitesh Sharma for India Selection

image-lhrxawn2Sikandar Raza [Image- IPLT20]

Veteran Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza is glad that his first ever experience of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped him "polish" his Punjabi a bit.

Raza, who was born in Sialkot, Pakistan, migrated to Zimbabwe in search of a better life in the early 2000s, and, despite him being from Punjabi background, he has never got a chance to converse in his native language.

The all-rounder was bought for INR 50 Lakhs by the Punjab Kings in the 2023 mini-auction, and the time spent with other Punjabi players in the last six weeks has helped him improve his Punjabi.

Raza has featured in 7 games for PBKS this season, in which he has scored 139 runs at an average of 27.8 and strike rate of 141.84 besides taking 3 wickets at 39.67.

"I come from a Punjabi background, and I can speak Urdu. A lot of the conversations in Zimbabwe are in English and Shona, which is the local language. I don't think I have spoken so much Punjabi in my life as I have done in the last six weeks. At least my Punjabi got polished a little bit," Raza told ESPN Cricinfo.

The Zimbabwe cricketer was full of praise for his teammate Jitesh Sharma, stating that he can foresee the dynamic finisher earn the national cap in the near future.

"The guy that has impressed me the most is Jitesh Sharma. It would be great if he ends up playing for India. With India being so top-heavy, imagine having a wicketkeeper who can bat like him down the order. That's a real plus. I think he has been the player to look out for," Raza said.

Jitesh has been in brilliant form this season, scoring 265 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 158.68 with the help of 18 sixes.