'Three golden ducks don't happen even to a No. 11': Wasim's burning take on 'Samson vs Suryakumar'
With each Suryakumar Yadav failure, clamours of Sanju Samson's inclusion in India's Playing XI are growing.
Once again, in a World Cup year, Team India is plagued with the No. 1 conundrum. If in 2019, the three-way battle was between Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, four years later, with Shreyas Iyer all but ruled out due to a back injury, the focus has shifted to KL Rahul vs Suryakumar Yadav vs Sanju Samson. The Indian team's idea seems clear, to make KL Rahul keep wicket and make him bat in the middle-order. He was batting at No. 5 with Suryakumar at 4, but SKY's repeated failures forced the management to demote him at No. 7 in the third ODI against Australia and push Rahul up at No. 4.
But with Suryakumar, with three golden ducks, being at the centre of storm, SKY may well become a doubtful starter. With each Surya failure, clamours of Samson's inclusion in India's Playing XI are growing as former opener Wasim Jaffer wants the management to look for other options. Jaffer reckons the time has come for India to look elsewhere, and within the current set-up, feels Samson is the best candidate to be tried out.
"I will probably sympathize with him. It doesn't happen even to a No. 11 batter. It's one of those things - getting out for a golden duck three times in a row. It will never happen to him again hopefully. It's just bad luck. But I think India need to look somewhere else. Even though he is a quality player and he will come up pretty good. Once the IPL starts, he will be in his elements at the format he is best at," he said on ESPNCricinfo.
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Over the years, Samson has been more of a pick for India in T20Is in ODIs but recent string of opportunities indicate that perhaps Samson's stocks are climbing rapidly in the management's eyes. Having made his ODI debut in July of 2021, Samson's next game came exactly a year later, but ever since, the 28-year-old has featured in nine ODIs including two half-centuries. Samson's unbeaten 86 against South Africa in Lucknow came at a losing case but it was considered as one of the most lion-hearted efforts ever seen in Indian cricket.
Indian cricketers are now dispersing to play the IPL for 2 months, followed by the World Test Championship in June, but once that ends, all of a sudden, you're looking at a handful of games including the Asia Cup left before the World Cup starts, which will determine the final 15.
"I think India need to probably look at Sanju Samson but still stick with Surya because he is a quality player. If he comes good, we all know he is a match-winner. You don't need to keep him aside. If the IPL goes well for him, you will be tempted to play him again but India really need to look at Sanju Samson," Jaffer pointed out.