He was then handed an ODI cap in 2021, almost 6 years after his debut in the shorter format of the game.
Sanju, now 28, played 11 ODIs and 16 T20Is between 2015 and 2022, a career that spanned 7 years and 5 months.
It is believed by many that Samson was continually overlooked by team management and sometimes even by selectors. He’s warmed up the benches in nearly every series he’s been called up to, only coming on the court to deliver drinks and replacement bats.
It’s no secret that Rishabh pant he is usually India’s first choice goalkeeper. With the departure of Wriddhiman Saha, this is pretty much true for all three formats.
But Pant struggled. This is also no secret. He was released from the Indian squad for the ongoing ODI series against Bangladesh after the first match which India lost by 1 wicket. Pant did not play in that game and there was no clarity on whether he was released due to workload management, poor form or a problem. KL Rahul, the assistant captain, put on goalkeeper gloves.
Recently, Pant was seen struggling in the ODI series against the Blackcaps. In two innings, Pant managed to score just 25 runs at an average of 12.50.
In the T20I series against the Kiwis, Pant, who has played 30 ODIs and 66 T2OIs so far, failed miserably with the bat and scored just 17 runs in 2 matches at an average of 8.50.
Samson also featured in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand last month and played in just one match. That was the opening match of the 3 game series, which New Zealand won by 7 wickets. Pant batted at number 4 and scored a 23 15 ball, Samson entered at number 6 and made a 38 36 ball. He was subsequently run out and Deepak Hooda was brought in for him. Pant remained in the playing XI. The second and third ODIs did not yield a score but Pant batted in the last match of the series and scored a 16 ball 10.
This has seen the Pant vs Samson debate reignited.
For the ongoing Bangladesh ODIs, Sanju was not included in the squad, with Ishan Kishan be named in the three-game series.
Sanju, in his 11 career ODI so far, has scored 330 runs with an average of 66 and a strike rate of 104.76. He has two fifties.
Between 2015 and 2022, Samson appeared in 27 international matches (11 ODIs and 16 T20Is).
Newcomer Deepak Hooda, who made his ODI and T20I debut in February this year, has already played 25 matches (10 ODIs and 15 T20Is).
Ishan Kishan meanwhile has received the nod in 30 matches (9 ODIs and 21 T20Is) since making his debut in March 2021.
India’s regular and first choice goalkeeper Pant has played in 66 T20I matches since his debut in 2017 and 30 ODI matches since his One Day debut in 2018.
Sanju being ignored? Is it time to give the 28-year-old a longer rope? While there are many who believe he should certainly be given more chances, there are also those who point to his average of 21 and strike rate of 135 in T20I cricket. Of course there could be several first choice keepers for Tests and limited matches, but not two separate ones for ODIs and T20Is. Sanju has a good ODI average, but has really failed to replicate his IPL heroics of him on the T20I stage. But again, he has only played 16 T20I games so far.
Former Indian cricketer Hemang Badani feels it’s time to give Sanju a more “smooth and consistent” ride on the Indian side.
“Sanju Samson needs to be looked at. More than just looking in, he needs a long run. He needs a smooth, constant run. It’s not like – make him play a game, then drop him the remaining ones, then play him again and then drop it saying we need one more bowler,” Badani, who played 40 ODIs and 4 Tests for India between 2000 and 2004, told TimesofIndia.com.
This sentiment is obviously echoed by many.
“It’s about time we should give him a decent run. Someone who has 11 matches under his name and averages over 60 (in ODIs), should try. He should be given a long string, like the others,” Badani told TimesofIndia again. com.
SANJU AS FIRST CHOICE WICKET-KEEPER FOR ICC ODI 2023 WORLD CUP – IDEAL THINK OR DISTINCT POSSIBILITY?
Who will be India’s first choice wicket-keeper at the 2023 ICC World Cup, to be played in India?
The trousers, first choice in the category, are out of shape. He was indeed abruptly released from India’s ODI squad for the three-match series against Bangladesh. Pant was released after consulting with the BCCI medical team.
Ishan Kishan, who last played an ODI in October against South Africa and scored 10 runs, has played 9 ODIs so far and scored 267 runs at an average of 33.37.
In 9 ODI matches, Ishan has kept wickets in only two – during the ODI series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in 2021. So, inexperience could cost Ishan the first choice keeper spot.
Pant’s absence meant KL Rahul wore gloves during the opening ODI of the three-match series against Bangladesh on Sunday and then again in the second ODI. It was the first time Rahul had kept wickets in India’s ODI side in over a year.
So here’s the conundrum: No one can question Pant’s batting skills. However, if he continues to struggle, will the team management try to continue with Rahul as designated goalkeeper to keep the team balanced or look elsewhere?
Sanju has played 11 ODIs in his career so far and has kept wickets in 10 matches. He has 7 catches and 2 staggerings under his belt.
“We are still too far away from it (ODI world cup 2023). We are still looking. The debate is still open. India has not been able to decide on it. We have Rishabh Pant who is talented, exciting and has a good ODI record. We have Sanju Samson who is talented and does well every chance he gets. He has done very well. We have KL Rahul who can keep it for us. We have Ishan Kishan who can keep it for us. The slot is wide open in this moment”, concluded Badani.