Sanju Samson's coach Biju George opined that Rishabh Pant has received more opportunities than his disciple because the Delhi Capitals wicket-keeper is a left-handed batsman. George felt that the selectors used the Delhi Capitals star more to counter the opposition team's left-arm bowlers.
In an interview with the Times of India on Thursday (30th July), Sanju Samson's coach Biju George gave his view on the 'Rishabh Pant vs. Sanju Samson' debate. Ever since MS Dhoni took a break from international cricket, both youngsters have competed for the wicket-keeper's spot in the Indian cricket team.
Rishabh Pant has divided opinion since his international debut
Rishabh Pant made his international debut in 2017 and in the last three years, the southpaw has played 13 Tests, 16 ODIs, and 28 T20Is for the Indian cricket team. The highlight of his international career has been his Test centuries in Australia and England.
On the other side, Sanju Samson broke into the Indian cricket team five years ago. However, his 24-ball 19 on T20I debut against Zimbabwe did not help his cause.
His consistent performances in the domestic circuit and the IPL helped him gain the selectors' attention again, featuring in the series against New Zealand at the start of the year.
So far, Sanju Samson has featured in four T20Is for India, scoring 35 runs at an average of 8.75.
The numbers do not justify his talent, and most fans believe that the Rajasthan Royals player could become a big name if he receives more chances. To put things into perspective, Rishabh Pant has been the team's first-choice keeper after MS Dhoni.
"If you ask me as a person who is close to Sanju, I would say he should have got more chances. But if you look at the Indian team's point of view - why they are giving Rishabh Pant so many chances? First, he is a left-hander, obviously. Second, Indian team strategies," he elaborated.
George elaborated on his statement and said that the team management might be thinking about the upcoming World Cups, where an opponent could trouble the Indian team with its left-arm bowlers. In his view, Rishabh Pant would be useful to the side at that time.
Lastly, Sanju Samson's coach felt that there was no favoritism prevailing in the Indian cricket team.
"The chief selector should decide who is the best suitable to be in the team against an opposition - Pant or Sanju? I don't think this is coming out deliberately not to give anybody a chance," he concluded.
With three mega ICC events scheduled to happen in the next three years, Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant would be keen to improve their performance and cement their place in the Indian team.Published 30 Jul 2020, 15:13 IST