'If Shivam Dube isn't bowling, Sanju Samson should be picked': India's T20 World Cup winner wants star WK back in XI | Crickit

'If Shivam Dube isn't bowling, Sanju Samson should be picked': India's T20 World Cup winner wants star WK back in XI

Jun 15, 2024 06:14 AM IST

Sanju Samson played in the warm-up match at the T20 World Cup against Bangladesh, but has since warmed the bench in all of the side's three matches so far.

Team India will face Canada in its final match of the T20 World Cup group stage on Saturday. Rohit Sharma's men have already qualified for the Super Eight but the game against Canada holds significant weight, as there are various sub-plots that will draw attention. While Virat Kohli's lack of runs in the first three matches – he has scored only 5 runs in the edition so far – will be in focus, it will be interesting to see the combination that Team India fields for the clash in Lauderhill.

Sanju Samson plays a shot during a practice session(Surjeet Yadav)
Sanju Samson plays a shot during a practice session(Surjeet Yadav)

Of course, there are predictions of heavy rains in Florida; in fact, the game between USA and Ireland was washed out on Friday, which not only confirmed USA's advancement to the Super Eights but also eliminated Pakistan from the tournament. Assuming the game between India and Canada takes place, another key decision, according to former Indian pacer Sreesanth, will be surrounding Sanju Samson.

The star wicketkeeper-batter has been on the bench throughout the first three matches with Rishabh Pant playing as the first-choice keeper. However, Sreesanth believes that Samson can make into the XI replacing Shivam Dube, given the team decides to use the latter only as a batter.

Samson, after years of inconsistent runs with the national team, finally earned his spot in the India T20 World Cup squad this year. His exceptional performances, both with the bat and behind the stumps, led the Rajasthan Royals to the playoffs in the recent Indian Premier League season.

In a warm-up match against Bangladesh, Samson was given the opportunity to open but struggled to make an impact on the challenging New York pitch.

“If they (Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli) are opening, I don't see any reason to change the XI. Axar Patel is bowling well. If you look at Shivam Dube, yes, he hasn't played well in the first two games, but we know what he can do with the bat. But I would like to see one change, and that is Sanju Samson come in the team,” Sreesanth told ANI.

“If Shivam Dube is not bowling, then Sanju should be given an opportunity; we know he is good enough. The other day, when I spoke to him, he was hungry to get that opportunity. The form he is in, and apart from wicketkeeping, he is a superman fielder.”

Where will Sanju bat?

Sreesanth says Samson could be used as a finisher by the Indian team, boosting the lower middle-order alongside Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Rishabh Pant currently bats at no.3 in the Indian order, with Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube following him at fourth and fifth spot, respectively.

“I feel Sanju comes in last along with Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. I think we can finish on a big score if we are chasing, with Virat being the chase master king. I don't see any score being that difficult for us to chase,” Sreesanth stated.

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