Punjab Kings explain why Jitesh Sharma wasn't captain after Dhawan was ruled out

Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the match against Rajasthan Royals due to shoulder injury. Sam Curran led Punjab Kings in Dhawan's absence.

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On Saturday (April 13), Punjab Kings were handed their fourth defeat of IPL 2024 by Rajasthan Royals at Mullanpur. With this loss, the Kings have now slipped to the eighth position in the points table with just 2 wins out of six games. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals have further solidified their top spot in the poitns table.

Before the game, Punjab Kings suffered a huge blow when their captain Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the match because of a shoulder injury. It was expected that vice-captain Jitesh Sharma would lead the team in his absence. But instead of Jitesh, Sam Curran walked out at the toss as the team's stand-by captain to everyone's surprise while Jitesh retained his vice-captain's role.

Just before the start of IPL 2024, Punjab Kings had announced that Jitesh Sharma would be the team's vice-captain. Jitesh also represented Punjab Kings at the captains' photoshoot in Chennal.

Sanjay Bangar explains why Jitesh Sharma wasn't PBKS captain against RR

Punjab Kings' Head of cricket development Sanjay Bangar clarified all the doubts regarding the matter in the post-match press conference. Bangar said that Jitesh was never a desginated vice-captain. Sam Curran, who also led the team in the previous season, arrived late for the IPL, which is why he couldn't attend the captains' meet and Jitesh was sent to represent the franchise.

“Jitesh wasn't the designated vice-captain. The impression could have been because he attended the captain's seminar or meeting at the start of the tournament. But the thought was always that since Sam had led the team last year as well, he was late to arrive from the UK and wanted to have a few sessions, which is why we couldn't send him to Chennai for the inauguration of the season," Bangar explained.

"Hence, Jitesh was sent because the directive from an IPL member was that a player must attend, but it was never in mind that he would be the vice-captain. But we were very clear in our minds that of at all there would be an opening it would be Sam to lead the team,” he added.

Also read: Fans blast Rajasthan Royals for sending Ranji No.9 as opener against Punjab Kings

Sam Curran had a decent day with the ball with 2-25 in his four overs but had a disappointing day with the bat. Jitesh Sharma, on the other hand, scored 29 runs off 24 balls but got out at a wrong time. Ashutosh Sharma came in as an impact player and scored a blistering 31 off 16 balls, which included 3 sixes and a four.

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