Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has not seen any improvement in Rishabh Pant’s performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. On the other hand, he has been impressed with Sanju Samson’s batting exploit, which is why he believes that Samson is the right contender for the wicketkeeper-batsman position in Team India.
After MS Dhoni had made himself unavailable in international cricket, there has been a lot of debate about whom to hand over the role of a wicketkeeper in the Indian team. Selectors have given Rishabh Pant priority for the role, but he has failed to impress. Therefore, some voices are supporting Sanju Samson to take up the wicketkeeper position.
Well, the ongoing IPL 2020 will surely help the selectors to decide the final contender for the role. But Kevin Pietersen is already impressed with Samson.
Sanju Samson more reliable option than Rishabh Pant: Kevin Pietersen
On Friday during the pre-match show before Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals match, Kevin Pietersen opined that Samson was a more reliable option than Rishabh Pant because the latter has not been consistent. Pietersen added that Pant had shown no sign of improvements, although he has been continuously playing the same role.
“Sanju Samson is a more reliable option for the wicketkeeper’s position in Team India because he has not seen any improvement in Rishabh Pant’s performance this year.
“Rishabh Pant is someone who disappoints because we expect a lot from him. In order to get that India tag and play international cricket, you need to show some consistency and get better.
“But I am seeing the same player that I saw the year before, the year before and the year before that. For as long as he has played, he has been inconsistent,” Kevin Pietersen added.
Kevin Pietersen keeps Sanju Samson ahead of Pant because he sees him as more dedicated and committed to the game than the Delhi Capitals players.
“And when I see Sanju Samson, I see somebody completely different. The dedication and commitment that he put into, turning up for this year’s IPL that mighty impressed me. That actually got me having him ahead of Rishabh Pant,” Pietersen told Star Sports during a pre-match show.
The former England cricketer is impressed with Samson’s hunger to represent in India, which pushes him to give him 100 percent on the field. Kevin Pietersen believes that Samson has got the tough character that is required to play international cricket.
“Just purely from a diet basis, fitness basis and a dedication space, Samson seems to say ‘I want to go out there and do everything in my power to play cricket for India’.
“And he has got runs after runs. He has failed a couple of times but what you need is that dedication which he has for international cricket because when the going gets tough, the tough get going. You want tough people for international cricket,” the Englishman added.
Rajasthan Royals batsman Sanju Samson was on fire in the first two games in Sharjah. He scored 74 off 32 with one four and nine sixes against the Chennai Super Kings in the first match and followed it up with 85 runs off 42 balls with four boundaries and seven sixers against Kings XI Punjab. However, after these two knocks, he has only scored 17 runs in the last four matches.
Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is yet to play a big knock. In the last six matches, he has scored 31, 37*, 28, 38, 37 and 5 runs respectively.