Sanju Samson’s exclusion from India’s ODI World Cup squad
Sanju Samson’s absence from India’s ODI World Cup squad, announced earlier this week, didn’t come as a surprise to many even as he was included as a reserve player in the team in the Asia Cup due to KL Rahul’s unavailability. However, the talented wicketkeeper-batsman from Karnataka made an early return ahead of the Super 4 stage of the tournament and was also included in the World Cup squad, which might have played a role in Samson’s exclusion. The Kerala-born wicketkeeper was also sent home from Sri Lanka following Rahul’s arrival.
Inconsistency at the International Level
Inconsistency has been a recurring issue for Samson, despite possessing immense talent. While he has consistently delivered solid performances for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, he has struggled to replicate that success at the international level, making it challenging for him to secure a permanent spot in any format of the Indian team.
AB de Villiers’ Opinion
Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers, who has played against Samson on many occasions in the IPL, insisted that the batter possesses the talent but has failed to adapt to the ODI format so far. The former Royal Challengers Bangalore star also recalled an innings from Samson against his side to further make his point.
- “I don’t have to say much about him. We know what he’s capable of,” de Villiers said on his official YouTube channel.
- “I’ve been on the receiving end for RCB, watching him score 92 not out at the Chinnaswamy. The ball was flying all over the place. He’s also got the conventional cricket game and technique where he plays with a straight bat, plays the ball nicely. He’s got a good pull and hook shot.
- “He’s got everything in his bag. It’s all in the mind and it’s a matter of adapting to ODI and gameplans and the World Cup and the pressure thereof. So yes, two great players (Samson and Suryakumar),” he said.
Participating in the World Cup on home soil will subject Team India to immense pressure, and De Villiers’ advice for Rohit Sharma and the team is to approach the tournament with fearlessness as they aim to emulate their 2011 victory.
- “I think India’s squad is incredible, really, really strong. The only worry I have for India is playing at home. They played in India, they won. There will be huge pressure. That’s the only big obstacle in my opinion.
- “But if they can get rid of that and just free themselves up, I see no problem for India. Control what you can control. But go fearless.
- “Fearless is the word I’m looking for the Indian squad. If they can do that, they’ll go a long way and most probably lift that trophy,” he said.