A little development hidden in the Wellington Super Over - Sanju Samson
New Zealand vs India, 4th T20I, Wellington
The scenes after the fourth T20 international played between India and New Zealand were dramatic as the hosts lost a second consecutive Super Over, becoming the talk of the cricketing folklore for ages to come. This was New Zealand’s fourth Super Over game since the dramatic finish during the World Cup final on July 14, 2019, and a second consecutive tied game of the ongoing series.
While there has been much talk and analysis about the drama and the Black Caps’ tryst with the Super Overs in recent times, we take a look at the game from a little different perspective.
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One major change India made in the fourth game was when they not only included youngster Sanju Samson into the side as an opener but, entrusted upon him to take the responsibility of guiding the team through during the tense finish in the Super Over.
The decision to bring in Samson after KL Rahul’s dismissal in the Super Over surprised many, as it is too big an ask for any youngster to shoulder responsibility for his side in such pressure situations. Though it would have been interesting to see Samson get a chance to bat during the Super Over, it can still be seen as a huge confidence booster for the youngster who, until now, had been mostly warming the benches for the national side.
On including Samson as the third batsman, skipper Virat Kohli mentioned after the game :
Initially Sanju and KL were supposed to go given they can strike the ball well, but I went in because I was more experienced and in a pressure situation it was important for me to handle things.
Owing to his clean hitting abilities, the team management trusted the Kerala cricketer to see the team through during the fag end of the game. The fact that the likes of Manish Pandey, who was the star with the bat during India’s innings, along with big-hitter Shivam Dube were sitting in the dug-out is proof enough of the side’s trust on the youngster.
The fact that Samson has been persistent in his efforts and kept his focus on the game despite being in the shadows of Rishabh Pant, has helped him break the shackles finally earning a place ahead of Pant. However, Samson might still not be a regular into the playing eleven, courtesy a packed middle-order and a clean wicket-keeper in KL Rahul. And so, the right-hander from Kerala must use all the limited opportunities he gets to repose the faith of his captain and the team.
Published 01 Feb 2020, 15:50 IST