Indian batsman Sanju Samson is one of the few cricketers in the circuit at the moment who have a huge fan following despite not being a regular member of the national team. Samson has displayed some tremendous performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and for Kerala in the domestic cricket but he has failed to replicate the same at the international level. Samson has also failed to grab the chances with both hands whenever he has been given an opportunity to play for India.
In the past year, Samson has found it difficult to break into the Indian squad, let alone secure a place in the starting lineup. He faces stiff competition from Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan, which has made it even more challenging. Despite this, his fans remain staunch supporters, expressing their dissatisfaction at his lack of playing time compared to Pant, Ishan, or even Dinesh Karthik in the previous year. Aakash Chopra, a former India opener, has offered his thoughts on the Samson situation, explaining that his failure to seize his opportunities in the national team has contributed to his slide down the pecking order.
“Indian cricket is interesting. Like it or hate it, but the fact is that the atmosphere creates perception, and that is sometimes stronger than the truth. Sanju has a cult following – we live in a digital world. Where he comes from, it is very obvious that place and region has a digital presence. When he plays well, he makes batting look easy. He is pleasing on the eyes, took his team to Ranji final, IPL final. Got some opportunities for India but didn’t make the most of it. And this is a reality that fans do not understand. Sanju realises it that he is going to get limited opportunities in the current set-up,” Chopra told YouTuber Ranveer Allahabadia on ‘TRS Clips’.
“There is just no place in the XI. Ishan Kishan scored a double-century and yet we didn’t give him the next few matches. When he did, he was asked to bat at No. 5. There isn’t a place. And it’s not because KL Rahul wasn’t available. Had he been available, he would have still sat out. So that is the level of quality that is available. When the opportunity comes, just grab it away. If you throw it away for whatever reason, then you regret.”
Samson’s India career
Samson has played a total of 11 ODIs and 17 T20I matches for India since his debut in 2015. Samson has been unable to replicate his domestic form in the international arena with only a couple of good performances here and there. He has scored 330 runs in 50-over cricket at an average of 66 and has registered 301 runs in T20Is at an average of 20.06. Samson has two half-centuries in ODIs and one fifty in the shortest format for India.