Ravichandran Ashwin, Sanju Samson
Ravichandran Ashwin, Sanju Samson [PC: AP/YT]

Last Update on: August 19th, 2023 at 09:07 pm

The veteran India National Cricket Team off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has shared his views on the debate surrounding wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson’s batting position in T20Is.

Sanju Samson failed to deliver good performances for India in the recently concluded five-match T20I series against West Indies National Cricket Team.

In the first two T20Is, Samson registered scores of 12 and 7, before getting out for 9-ball 13 in the series-deciding clash. The wicketkeeper-batter was slotted at the No.6 position in the team sheet, but he batted at that position only once as his other two innings came at No.5.

Meanwhile, in a video shared on his official YouTube channel, Ravichandran Ashwin was seen talking about the finishers in the Indian team and he also went on to discuss about Samson. He said that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star Rinku Singh, who is currently in Ireland for the T20I series, could be groomed as a finisher for the next year’s T20 World Cup.

“Rinku Singh has captured everyone’s hearts with that famous last-over finish this IPL season, guys. He has gotten this ‘boy next-door’ image with his success story this season. Will they pick and groom him as a designated finisher in this series? We will have to wait and watch,” he said.

How could we have slotted Sanju Samson in the top 4? – Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin added that Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma, who is also in Ireland currently, is also an exciting prospect who can play a finishing role for India. However, Ashwin feels that Samson will get the nod ahead of Jitesh and he will get the opportunity to bat in the top order. Notably, Samson came to bat at No.4 in the first T20I against Ireland.

“Another exciting finisher who has done well in the last two seasons has been Jitesh Sharma. Jitesh is a right-hander and Rinku is a left-hander. Both Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh are the ones who could fit in the number 5, and 6 roles,” he said.

“However, I feel Sanju Samson will get the nod as the keeper ahead of Jitesh Sharma. The series is an extraordinary chance to play Sanju as a keeper and make him bat at number 3. He will surely bat at number 3 or 4.”

Ashwin further said that India’s top order has always been stacked and the team management couldn’t slot Sanju Samson in there as a result they placed him in a position where there was space.

“Another debate is on how Sanju Samson is a top-order batter and how he is being wasted as a number 6 in T20Is. See, Team India’s top 4 has been really heavy all this while,” he said.

“We have had Virat, Rohit, and now we have Shubman Gill. We have had Shreyas Iyer as well. How could we have slotted Sanju in the top 4? That’s why they tried Sanju, where they felt they had a hole in the batting order.”

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Sonanchal Gautam

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