Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Credits: Twitter)

Sanju Samson squandered a good opportunity to make an impact as he perished for just 12 in the ODI series opener on Friday. Sanju Samson was batting on 12 when he got dismissed off a Romario Shepherd delivery.

He challenged the decision with a review but it was to no avail as it was an “umpire’s call”, which led to his early exit in India’s ODI series opener against West Indies on Friday.  The right-handed batter squandered a good opportunity to make an impact, especially when almost every fringe player is staring at a spot in the 2022 World T20I squad.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Credits: Twitter)

Danish Kaneria: India Pushed Sanju Samson Up The Order In The 1st ODI Like Rishabh Pant Although His Batting Is Completely Different

On Sunday, the spotlight will again be on Sanju Samson, who has blown hot and cold in the India jersey. He has played two ODIs and 14 Twenty20 games and scored 58 and 251 runs, respectively. A big knock is always due from a player of his quality but former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria believes Sanju Samson should not be pushed ahead of Deepak Hooda, who has been enjoying a phenomenal run of late.

Deepak Hooda came after Sanju Samson in the 1st ODI and perished after scoring a sedate 27. Danish Kaneria said Sanju Samson was sent ahead of the in-form batter – the same gambit that the Indian team management used for Rishabh Pant, who has been rested in the ongoing series.

Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)
Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)

“Samson got another chance but he didn’t look special. He looked dull before Romario Shepherd got him out. But once again, I will talk about Hooda. Why did he bat down the order?

“Shreyas and Suryakumar are okay at No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, but Hooda should have come ahead of Samson. India pushed Samson up the order the same way as Rishabh Pant. But Samson ain’t Pant. His batting is completely different,” said Danish Kaneria on his YouTube channel.

“Hooda should bat up the order. He is a fantastic player who is in great form as well. India shouldn’t meddle with his batting position,” he added.

Sanju Samson, who has never had a decent run at the international level, was dropped for the West Indies T20Is after he had played just one T20I against Ireland and had registered his highest score for India (77). India preferred to stick with the tried and tested Shreyas Iyer and the rising star Deepak Hooda.

Sanju Samson has struggled to replicate his IPL exploits at the international level as the Kerala batter, who made his debut in 2015, has managed 215 runs at a meager average of 19.30 in 14 T20Is. His first T20I fifty (77) came in the last T20I match against Ireland-the same match where Deepak Hooda scored his first T20I ton.

In the 2nd T20I against Ireland, Sanju Samson scored 77 off 42 balls including 9 fours and 4 sixes and was involved in a 176-run partnership for the 2nd wicket with Deepak Hooda. He played only 1 ODI in Sri Lanka 2021 tour where he scored 46 runs before scoring 12 runs off 18 balls in the 1st ODI against hosts West Indies.

Sanju Samson’s Save On The Wide Ball In The Last Over Raised India’s Confidence: Yuvendra Chahal

Despite being quiet with the willow, Sanju Samson pulled off a crucial save behind the stumps. Bowler Mohammed Siraj strayed on the leg side while bowling to Caribbean batter Romario Shepherd but Sanju Samson was quick to dive to his left and get his hand on the ball. India went on to win the series opener by three runs, with Mohammed Siraj conceding just a single on the last ball.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Credits: Twitter)

India put up 308-7, thanks to captain Shikhar Dhawan‘s 97 and fifties from Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer, while West Indies’ chase ended on a tense 305-6.

“We had confidence and belief that Siraj could defend 15 runs in the final over because of the way he was bowling his yorkers. In his previous two overs as well, he had missed hardly one or two yorkers. There was confidence, but also pressure because of the way they (West Indies) were batting.”

“When Sanju Samson made that save on the wide ball, it raised our confidence,” Yuzvendra Chahal, who bowled crucial overs under pressure and returned 2/58 in his 10, said in a post-match press conference.

Chasing a record target, the West Indies could only score 305 for 6 in 50 overs. Kyle Mayers top-scored for the home side with 75 while Shamarh Brooks and Brandon King contributed 46 and 54 respectively.

India 308 for 7 (Dhawan 97, Gill 64, Iyer 54, Motie 2-54, Joseph 2-61) beat West Indies 305 for 6 (Mayers 75, King 54, Thakur 2-54, Siraj 2-56) by three runs