Sanju Samson ‘…India’s next T20 captain after Rohit Sharma': Harbhajan seals T20 World Cup debate, wants him groomed | Crickit
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Sanju Samson ‘…India’s next T20 captain after Rohit Sharma': Harbhajan seals T20 World Cup debate, wants him groomed

Apr 23, 2024 10:54 AM IST

Harbhajan said there should not be any debate about Samson's spot in World Cup. He even said that Samson should be groomed as the next T20I captain after Rohit.

Who should be India's wicketkeeper for the T20 World Cup? Currently, there are five contenders - Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul, and Jitesh Sharma. Ishan Kishan, despite being an impactful batter at the top of the order for Mumbai Indians, is unlikely to be considered purely because of his batting position. India need someone who can bat in the middle order. That is where Pant and Dinesh Karthik score over the others, who mostly prefer to bat in the top three. Jitesh has made his name as a finisher but his low returns in IPL 2024 have pegged him back.

Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson(AFP)
Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson(AFP)

As things stand now, Pant and Samson appear to be the frontrunners with Karthik being the dark horse. The Royal Challengers Bengaluru veteran has made it clear that he is ready to give one last shot at glory in the world event slated to take place in the USA and the West Indies in June-July this year.

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As the tournament will be played in foreign conditions, it is almost certain that India will have two specialist keepers in their squad of 15. It may come down to what the selection committee is looking for from their keeper.

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Pant has proved his fitness while leading the Delhi Capitals. If the team management is looking at a left-handed option then Pant is a no-brainer. Then there comes the role Karthik plays. Even at 38, Karthik has shown that there are very few better finishers in the shortest format than him.

Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh, however, believes the spot should go to Rajasthan Royals skipper, Samson. The former off-spinner said there should not be any debate about Samson's spot in India's T20I XI. He even said that the Kerala cricketer should be groomed as the next T20I captain of India after Rohit Sharma.

"Sanju Samson should walk into the Indian team for T20 worldcup and also groomed as the next T20 captain for India after rohit. koi shak (any doubts)???" Harbhajan wrote on X.

Samson vs Pant vs Karthik for T20 World Cup

Samson has been highly successful as a batter and captain in this season's IPL. The right-hander has scored 314 runs in the eight matches that he has played so far this year at a strike rate of 152.3. The Royals are ever-so-close to becoming the first team to ensure playoff qualification this year with 14 points in eight matches.

Samson has been superb as captain. He is head and shoulders above the others by weight of runs. But like Kishan, what might go against Samson, is his batting position. He has scored all those runs while batting at No.3 for RR.

Pant, on the other hand, has smashed 254 runs at a strike rate of 150 while batting at No.4 or 5 this season. India's keeper is likely to bat at either No.5 or No.6 depending on the match situation.

Although Samson has batted at that position for India in T20Is and ODIs, Pant has more experience at that number and is also a left-hander. Then there is Karthik, who has scored 251 runs at a strike rate of 196 for RCB this year. But will the selectors again fall back at DK instead of looking ahead? The question is likely to be answered in less than a fortnight from now.

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