Sanju Samson’s coach explains why Rishabh Pant has got more chances in Indian team
India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant had a tough 2019. Pant’s inconsistent performances saw him getting lot of criticism from fans for both his batting and wicketkeeping. In the T20 series against Bangladesh last year, India picked Sanju Samson in the squad, and many expected Samson to get a game. But Samson did not. Later, India dropped Samson from the T20 squad for the home series against West Indies, though he was later added when Shikhar Dhawan got injured and was ruled out. But again, Samson could not make it to the playing XI in the series.
This year, Samson finally got an opportunity to play in a T20 game against Sri Lanka, and he later featured for India in T20I matches against New Zealand. In a recent interview, Samson’s coach Biju George explains why the Indian team gave more opportunities to Pant than Samson.
“If you ask me as a person who is close to Sanju, I would say he should have got more chances. But if you look at the Indian team’s point of view - why they are giving Rishabh Pant so many chances? First, he is a left-hander, obviously. Second, Indian team strategies,” George told Times of India.
“They might have the World Cup in mind, where they might come up against a team which has got quality left-arm spinners or leg spinners, or a left-arm fast bowler, and that time Pant will be useful. This is my opinion. That’s up to the team, captain and coach to take the decision.
“That the chief selector should decide who is the best suitable to be in the team against an opposition - Pant or Sanju? I don’t think this is coming out deliberately not to give anybody a chance,” Biju George added.
“As you go up the hierarchy in the cricketing ladder, so many difficulties come. It is a very difficult process to filter out, which actually suits you, which doesn’t suit you. Sanju is a guy, if you watch all his innings, he’s a guy who relies on timing. He is not a player who will be smashing the ball, he will be timing the ball. That’s what makes Sanju stand a part,” he further said.
“If you see his IPL and domestic innings, you will see he times the ball so perfectly. Last season, when he scored a century against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he timed most of the shots through covers. When he came to the Indian side, somebody told him that you have to be hitting the ball. When he started hitting the ball, he started losing his shape,” he added.
“Whenever we met this year, we go on long drives, we do long chats and we decided that his focus should be on holding the shape, timing the ball and hitting it straight, nothing else. And dominate. I am confident that you will see a different Sanju in the coming season. He will dazzle in domestic, IPL as well as international,” the coach further said.