Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif for Delhi Capitals (BCCI/IPL)

Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif feels that Sanju Samson may get the nod over Ishan Kishan in the first couple of ODIs in the series against Sri Lanka, starting July 18 in Colombo.

With both Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul in England with the Test squad, the upcoming matches against Sri Lanka – 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is – provide a good opportunity for Samson and Kishan to showcase their talent and skill further at the international level.

While both have been remarkable in the IPL, their short international careers have been contrasting so far – Samson averages 11.86 in 7 T20Is with a best of 23, while Kishan smacked a brilliant fifty on his debut T20I match against England in March this year.

Sanju Samson, IPL 2021
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Samson has been in form in the IPL 2021 while leading Rajasthan Royals; Kishan, on the other hand, was dropped from Mumbai Indians’ eleven due to lack of form.

Mohammad Kaif believes that Samson is likely to be preferred for the ODIs owing to his greater experience than Kishan.

“It’s going to be a very tough job for Rahul Dravid as a coach and Shikhar Dhawan as captain. There are only six matches and you have a big squad. But I think Sanju Samson has been there for the last couple of years. He has played for India before. He has gone to New Zealand, Australia. He has been captaining Rajasthan Royals too,” Mohammad Kaif said in a virtual interaction organized by Sony Sports.

“I think in ODIs, Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan would prefer those who have already played for India. The experienced players might get priority in the first couple of matches. Sanju is one of them,” he addded.

Kuldeep and Chahal might play together: Mohammad Kaif

Mohammad Kaif is also positive that the leg-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal might play again in the same eleven together. The pair, often known as ‘Kul-Cha’ hasn’t played together in an ODI since the 2019 World Cup game against England – more than 2 years later they are much likely to be reunited – as both have struggled for proper form and consistency at the highest level.

Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal,
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav [Image-Getty]
However, they face stiff competition for places from Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Varun Chakravarthy.

“Kuldeep and Chahal might play together. They haven’t played together for a long time. Kuldeep hasn’t played regularly for the last few months. He will be looking forward to making a mark. The senior players will get the first preference and from there on, they will see how it goes,” the former batsman opined.

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