Sanju Samson may have felt hard done by when he was excluded from Team India’s 17-man squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, while the selectors put faith in Suryakumar Yadav, who has a much poorer average in ODIs compared to Samson, and Tilak Varma, who hasn’t even made his ODI debut yet.
Former India selector Saba Karim admitted that it is a tough phase for Samson, but he added that there’s still plenty of hope for the Kerala cricketer because he’s very talented, has all the abilities to succeed in international cricket, and offers additional role as a wicket-keeper.
“It is a tough phase for Sanju Samson, let us admit that first, because now it seems in the pecking order you have KL Rahul, then you have Ishan Kishan, and then comes Sanju Samson,” Saba Karim told Jio Cinema.
“It’s also the way he looks at his future in international cricket. Does he look at himself as a wicketkeeper-batter or does he think of himself as a batter? The kind of potential he has, everybody knows he is so gifted.”
While Sanju Samson has failed to grab his chances in T20Is, he’s done well in ODIs: in 12 ODI innings, Sanju Samson averages 55 with three half-centuries to his name and has struck at a good strike rate of 104; while doing the finishing duties, he’s remained not out 5 times.
Despite this, the selectors and the management went for T20 success Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma, who offers left-handedness.
What does Sanju Samson do now?
A former keeper-batsman himself, Saba Karim explained that Sanju Samson needs to get better as a wicketkeeper and become more consistent as a batsman.
“The road ahead for him is to number one work hard on his wicketkeeping if he wants to be considered as a wicketkeeper-batter. There are some areas of concern for him but with the kind of talent he has, if he works hard, goes back to the drawing board, I am sure he will be a much better keeper next time around.
“In terms of his batting, he has to continue with this similar kind of intensity, be more consistent, but I think impactful is more important. That’s what we require from Sanju Samson going forward,” the former stumper added.