'He's got a lot on his plate, he is a fair man': Ex-IND cricketer defends VVS Laxman over criticism for dropping Samson

Published on Nov 28, 2022 10:12 AM IST

Samson as benched through the T20Is and managed only one appearance in two ODIs. However, a former India cricketer has jumped to Laxman's defense amid the ongoing criticisms.

VVS Laxman; Sanju Samson
VVS Laxman; Sanju Samson

Stan-in head coach VVS Laxman, who has been brought in to fill Rahul Dravid's shoes only for the ongoing New Zealand tour, has been immensely criticised by fans for the lack of opportunities Sanju Samson has been given across the two limited-overs series. The India star was benched through the T20Is and managed only one appearance in two ODIs. However, former India cricketer Murali Kartik has jumped to Laxman's defense amid the ongoing criticisms.

Samson was not picked for the T20I series owing to “strategic reasons” as explained by captain Hardik Pandya after the series ended last week. Samson was however given a chance in the ODI series opener on Friday in Auckland where he put up a decent 36 and was part of a 96-run stand with Shreyas Iyer. With India wanting a balance in the side, Samson was dropped from the playing XI for the 2nd ODI.

Speaking to Prime Video on Sunday during the 2nd ODI in Hamilton, Kartik admitted that it has been harsh to drop Samson but explained the reason behind the move while defending Laxman who has been subject to criticism for the team selection.

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"You want bowling options, unfortunately for India, the top 6 that we have here, the top 6 none of them bowl. And I said this before as well, it's tough on Sanju Samson. We all keep talking about how good he is," Karthik said.

"He comes and gets a lovely score. He bats really well in the series against South Africa. Yes, the feeling is to keep him going and then that's right. But now he misses out in spite of scoring runs in the previous game and you get Deepak Hooda to bowl, which is fine.

"But as Ashish said, if you are picking him as a batter from the get-go and then getting him to bowl, that's a different thing. But for him to come now and then the others to miss out.. look Shardul Thakur has been among the wickets. It's a tough ask. I know VVS Laxman has got a lot on his plate, he is a fair man.

"With the squad of 14, this is what they have tried to do, given what happened in the previous game," he added.

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