Every time there is an India squad announcement, there is a guaranteed buzz around Sanju Samson. Millions wait with bated breath to know whether Samson is in or out. And as selectors announced the India squad for South Africa tour on Thursday, it was another surprising move. In a T20 World Cup cycle, he found a place in ODIs. But that’s how life is if you are Sanju Samson. The IND vs SA ODI series is an opportunity to silence critics should he get a chance. Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers believes he would after the Kerala and Rajasthan Royals captain was snubbed from the World Cup.
De Villiers emphasised the fact that Samson has the ability to play well in the seaming conditions.
“It’s great to see him in the team. He will enjoy the South African wickets. He stands tall when he bats. There’s a bit of bounce and movement and all the batters will be tested,” De Villiers said on his YouTube channel
Sanju Samson in ODIs
Sanju Samson made his ODI debut in 2021. However, the right-handed batter hasn’t had many chances to prove himself in the 50-over format. In 13 ODI matches so far, Samson has amassed 390 runs at an average of 55.71 and a strike-rate of 104 with three half-centuries. And that should have been enough to find a spot in the World Cup squad. But keeper Ishan Kishan and batter Suryakumar Yadav trumped Sanju.
While it’s still unclear if he would find a place in the Playing XI with KL Rahul being the designated wicketkeeper, Sanju Samson will have to keep his fingers crossed. The three-match IND vs SA ODI series will be his one opportunity before the IPL 2024. And if he does well in both with the gloves and the willow, T20 World Cup 2024 spot will still be up for grabs.
“But someone like Sanju, I think, will do well. And he also gives you an option with the gloves,” added AB de Villiers.
Meanwhile, the three-match IND vs SA ODI series will kick-start on December 17. Before that, the Men in Blue will begin their tour of South Africa with a three match T20I series. After the limited over games, there will also be a two-match Test series. However, Sanju Samson is only part of the ODI series.