As Sanju Samson was not given many opportunities in international cricket, many fans have lashed out at the BCCI for sidelining the Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain. The wicket-keeper batsman made his Team India debut in July 2015, during a T20I match against New Zealand, and also got his first ODI appearance in 2021 against Sri Lanka. But since his debut, he has only played in 16 T20I matches and 11 ODI matches, a paltry total for a cricketer of his caliber.
Samson also recently sat on the bench for the entire T20I series between India and New Zealand. Although he had a chance in Auckland’s first ODI, the visitors were thrashed and lost by seven wickets. Samson recorded 36 runs from 38 balls as India scored 306 for seven in 50 overs. New Zealand chased a target of 307 runs and raced to 309 for three in 47.1 overs. After the defeat, he was dropped for Hamilton’s second ODI, which eventually faded.
Also read | ‘Monkey Sanju Samson ko kya jawab denge? 8 players go home from New Zealand’: Ex-India opener ‘baffled’ by selection
Speaking to News18, Samson’s youth coach Biju rejected claims that BCCI sidelined the 28-year-old and pointed out that he faced competition from Rishabh Pant, who has already established himself in red-ball and white-ball cricket for India. He also explained that Samson still has time to shine for India and must be patient for his chance. The coach used the example of Suryakumar Yadav, who had a long wait for his debut and finally got the chance in March 2021, in a T20I match against England. Since then, the MI star has established himself as ICC’s No. 1 T20I batsman.
“Time is not running out. Look to Surya, for inspiration. He came late to the scene and how well did he seize the opportunity? So Sanju should not look far for inspiration. Surya’s example is right there before him,” he said.
Biju praised Samson’s skills and used the example of an IPL match. “If you see Sanju from the U-19 days, he is a guy who can clear the ropes very easily. And he plays all over the park. Maybe not like Suryakumar Yadav’s ramp shots, but he explores 360 degrees on his own way.If you remember the sixes he hit off Mitchell Johnson during an IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, you will see the range he showed there.Cut square for six, tap for six, walk around and hole easily finding… that’s special” he opined.
In 11 ODI matches, Samson has recorded 330 runs with a highest score of 86. He has also won two ODI half-centuries. Meanwhile in T20I cricket, Samson has hit 296 runs in 16 matches, with a half-century and a top score of 77. With the ODI World Cup scheduled for next year and the T20 World Cup for 2024, Samson hopes to secure his place in the Indian team roster.