Former India head Ravi Shastri said that Sanju Samson is a “match-winner”, but the 28-year-old Kerala batsman is yet to realize his true potential at the highest level. Shastri also likened Samson’s situation to that of another talented batsman who took a while to cement his place in India’s teams, that is the current captain, Rohit Sharma.
Samson is back in India’s ODI setup as he will fly to West Indies for the 3-ODI series in July/August on the West Indies tour.
Samson last featured in an ODI match in November 2022. Although with a small sample size, Samson does have impressive ODI numbers: in 10 innings, he’s scored 330 runs, averaging 66 because of remaining not out five times, and he’s scored those runs at a strike rate of 104 with a couple of half-centuries to his name. Both those fifties came in high-pressure chases against South Africa and West Indies.
Samson’s stop-start India career has meant his talent hasn’t gotten a long rope, a consistent chance to flourish. With Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul out of action due to injuries, Samson might get a good run in the middle-order now, as a wicket-keeper or not.
Ravi Shastri said he’d be “disappointed” if Sanju Samson couldn’t fulfill his talents.
He said that it is similar to Rohit, who later in his career cracked Test cricket.
“There is Sanju, who I believe is yet to realise his potential. He is a match-winner. There is something that is missing. I will be disappointed if he does not finish his career all guns blazing. It is like when I was the coach, I would have been disappointed if Rohit Sharma had not played in my side as a regular Test player. Hence, his opening the batting. I feel similar with Sanju,” Shastri said.
India’s ODI squad for WI tour: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar.