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Why the Indian selectors have been unfair on Sanju Samson

ANALYST
Feature
23 Nov 2019, 20:54 IST

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson

The Indian selectors have announced the ODI and T20 squads for the upcoming series against the West Indies. While the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami have made a comeback into the limited overs setup, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant have been given a longer rope.

But one decision that definitely needs an explanation is the omission of Sanju Samson from the T20 squad.

The talented right-handed batsman was part of the T20 squad against Bangladesh but did not feature in a single game. Now, he has been dropped from the squad without even getting a look-in.

Also see - India vs West Indies schedule 2019

How is that fair?

Samson has been in blistering form with the bat in the recent past. He smashed a whirlwind 212 off just 129 balls in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, recording the fastest double century by an Indian in List A cricket. He was also in good form in the 2019 edition of the IPL, scoring 342 runs at a strike rate of 148.70.

Samson’s gift of timing the ball effortlessly and his ability to clear the boundary at will marks him out as a special talent.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson

But at the moment, the selectors have decided to persist with the out-of-form and struggling Rishabh Pant. This is despite the fact that Pant has been in the firing line in the recent past because of his tendency to throw his wicket away, receiving a lot of flak from the media and former players alike.

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In fact, this is what batting coach Vikram Rathore had to say about Pant.

“All young players need to understand that there is a fine line between playing fearless cricket and careless cricket. What the team management is asking from them is fearless cricket, having clear game plans and playing with intent but at the same time, you can’t be careless. I am sure they are smart enough to understand that.”

In the last four innings that Pant has played for India, he has scores of 6, 27,19 and 4. That's not an acceptable return from anyone, let alone a high-profile wickekeeper-batsman in one of the strongest teams in world cricket.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

The continued persistence with Pant has given the impression that Indian cricket does not have enough talent, and that there is no option but to rely on underperformers. But the reality is totally different; there is actually a talented replacement for Pant waiting in the wings, ready to take on the responsibility.

The omission of Samson from the T20 squad is harsh to say the least. The youngster has given his best in trying to get noticed by the selectors, but now has been dropped from the squad even without getting a single game to prove himself.

This can be discouraging for any player, and we can only hope that Samson takes it in his stride and comes back stronger.

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