Sanju Samson, Sanjay Manjrekar. Photo- Twitter
Sanju Samson, Sanjay Manjrekar. Photo- Twitter

Former cricketers Sanjay Manjrekar and Andy Flower discussed India’s playing XI and agreed that Sanju Samson deserved a spot in the team. Former cricketers believe Samson might be included in India’s playing XI if Shivam Dube does not bowl in the T20 World Cup.

Sanju was named to India’s T20 World Cup squad following a remarkable performance in the IPL 2024, where he hit over 500 runs. Samson, on the other hand, was left out of India’s playing XI for the match against Ireland.

Manjrekar believes Sanju Samson should be picked in India’s playing XI if Shivam Dube does not bowl in the T20 World Cup.

“Absolutely right (Sanju should play as the better batter if Dube isn’t going to bowl). I believe Sanju Samson has finally matured and this is the best Sanju Samson that India will get at the international level,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.

Samson was given an opportunity in the warm-up game but was unable to make an impression. Manjrekar said Samson’s chances were hampered by his poor performance in the warm-up game against Bangladesh.

“That first warm-up game has done a bit of damage to Sanju Samson. He was my No. 3, to begin with. I had Rishabh Pant down at No. 5. But Sanju Samson struggled a bit short. That is what happens when you are a fringe player and get small opportunities,” Manjrekar added.

Sanju Samson could be handy against Pakistan: Andy Flower

India won their first match of the T20 World Cup 2024 against Ireland quite comfortably. Ireland was bowled out for 96 runs with Hardik Pandya taking three wickets and Arshdeep Singh and Jasprit Bumrah taking two each.

In reply, Rohit Sharma made 52 and Rishabh Pant smashed 36* as India won by 8 wickets in 12.2 overs.

Their next match in the T20 World Cup 2024 is against Pakistan on June 9 at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York and it is a big-ticket encounter.

Former Zimbabwe player Andy Flower echoed Sanjay Manjrekar’s words and said that Sanju Samson’s skills with the bat could be handy for India, especially against a quality team like Pakistan.

He said: “I don’t think India are going to use much of Dube’s bowling. So if it’s a straight shootout for batting class, you might want to judge what the matchups are against the opposition bowlers, could Dube’s ability to hit spin match up well against whatever opposition, or you need a greater skillset like Sanju has got? He plays the ball late, got beautiful timing, and can play the pull shot, that could be deemed a better technique to use against Pakistan.”

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