IPL 2024: Depleted Punjab Kings promise to play 'fearless' cricket in final game against Hyderabad

Stand-in skipper Jitesh believes the absence of key England players will not affect his side's morale on Sunday

By ANI

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Punjab Kings' Jitesh Sharma plays a shot during tan IPL match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru earlier this month. - AFP File
Punjab Kings' Jitesh Sharma plays a shot during tan IPL match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru earlier this month. - AFP File

Published: Sat 18 May 2024, 4:53 PM

With Sam Curran returning home to England for international duties and Shikhar Dhawan still not fit, Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batsman Jitesh Sharma will don the captain's hat for the depleted team's final game of the IPL season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.

Although Punjab have no hopes of qualifying for the play-offs 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," he said. "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 added.

"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."

Along with Curran, explosive opener Jonny Bairstow has also returned to England while injured Liam Livingstone and speedster Chris Woakes, who 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," he saod.

"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."

On being asked to sum up his season, the right-handed batter said that he has learned a lot and is confident of showcasing improvement in the coming years.

"I am such a player who is never happy. But I love it when the team wins. I agree that I have had ups and downs this season. My intent was good. I want my team to win. Personal goals are different for me. I had a very good learning his year. Now I have seen this phase, it will be better in the coming years," Jitesh signed off.

Punjab Kings will play their final game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday at 15:30 IST.

Sunday's fixtures

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Punjab Kings (2:00 p m (UAE)

Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders (6:00 pm UAE)

Venue: Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati


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