The case of Sanju Samson has taken the cricketing world by surprise. Despite his consistent efforts, the wicketkeeper-batsman sits on the bench and does not get enough opportunity to play for India. Before making his India debut, Samson was seen as a potential successor to MS Dhoni, but things did not turn out that way, and the situation is unlikely to change.
Despite playing well in limited opportunities and being in superb form in white-ball cricket in 2022, he remains on the bench. Samson played the first ODI against New Zealand in Auckland after missing the entire T20 series, but had to give up his spot due to team balance. Deepak Hooda has taken over for Sanju Samson, as Rishabh Pant is the vice-captain.
Samson’s extended absence irked several people, including Congress Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, as the Men in Blue went unchanged for the third ODI against New Zealand in Christchurch.
Tharoor, referring to VVS Laxman’s interview prior to the third ODI, asserted that while Pant is a good player, he has failed in 10 of his last 11 innings, whereas Samson, who averages 71 in 2022 and 66 in his ODI career, has scored runs in all five of his last five games but still does not find a place.
“Pant has done well at No. 4, so it is important to back him,” says @VVSLaxman281. He’s a good player out of form who’s failed in ten of his last 11 innings; Samson averages 66 in ODIs, has made runs in all his last five matches & is on the bench. Go figure. @IamSanjuSamson,” Tharoor wrote on Twitter.
“Pant has done well at No. 4, so it is important to back him,” says @VVSLaxman281. He’s a good player out of form who’s failed in ten of his last 11 innings; Samson averages 66 in ODIs, has made runs in all his last five matches & is on the bench. Go figure. @IamSanjuSamson
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 30, 2022
Speaking about the side’s bench strength and Pant’s form in particular, Laxman said that Pant struck a century not long ago against England and that it is crucial to support these types of players.
“India is blessed to have a strong depth of talent and bench strength. It’s about giving them opportunities and also informing them whenever they aren’t picked. Pant has been doing well at no.4, not too long ago he scored an important century at Old Trafford and it’s important to back him,” Laxman had said on Amazon Prime Video.
The Indian team management will be under intense scrutiny now that fans and experts all over the world have begun to root for Sanju Samson and have begun to question Rishabh Pant’s status in the Indian team in terms of the white ball format.
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