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As the senior wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni is absent from the Indian limited-overs sides since the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the 22-year-old Rishabh Pant and 25-year-old Sanju Samson are fighting to grab this crucial spot. However, Samson has recently clarified that he has no competition with his friend Pant.
Though the wicket-keeper Sanju Samson is a little senior cricketer than the wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, latter has got more opportunities in the national team. Samson made his international debut in July 2015 during the Harare T20I against Zimbabwe. But then he missed out international cricket for more than four years and has only played three more T20Is in early this year.
On the other hand, after making the international debut in February 2017, Pant has played 13 Tests, 16 ODIs and 28 T20Is.
In the Indian team, while Pant has got major support from the team management, Samson is still waiting for more opportunities. However, the older has clarified that he doesn’t believe in the competition as it doesn’t help anyway.
Samson told TOI, “I think it all depends on the team combination. I never thought about all these lines (competition with Rishabh Pant). As a cricketer when you’re competing or when you’re trying to get into a sport, if you have an eye on other players – I don’t think that’s the way to play your cricket.”
We really enjoyed playing together: Sanju Samson about Rishabh Pant
While Pant started his IPL career for the Delhi franchise in 2016 and is still serving for this team, Samson played for this side from 2016 to 2017. So, they have a good friendship for a long time. Talking about their friendship, Samson brought out an example of a match during IPL 2017 when their partnership played a pivotal role in their successful 200+ chase.
Samson claimed, “Rishabh and I started playing for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and we spent a lot of time together. We are really good friends. He is a talented player. We really enjoyed playing together. I’ve played a lot of innings with him. I remember one match we played for Delhi Daredevils against the Gujarat Lions. We hammered sixes all over the park and chased down 200 plus. I still relish that partnership with Pant.”
While the Delhi franchise was chasing 209 runs, Samson-Pant set up the crucial 143 runs partnership for the second wicket. While the opener Samson scored 61 runs, Pant played the 97 runs knock as their side won that game by seven wickets with 15 balls remaining.
Not just play, we also have a lot of fun together: Sanju Samson talking about his time spent with Rishabh Pant
Samson likes to play with Pant as both want to dominate the bowlers with their aggressive batting performances.
The older quoted, “Whenever people talk to me about my competition with Pant, I like to think about me and him playing together. Not just play, we also have a lot of fun together. I think it will be a really good thing – we are known to dominate bowlers and we have done it in the past as well. So, I always look forward to playing with Pant. I don’t consider myself competing with him.”
Samson and Pant haven’t played together for the Indian team yet.