In the current ODI series against South Africa, Sanju Samson has done all in his power to establish a strong case for a long-term berth in India’s ODI XI as well as in the T20I team after this World Cup. The gifted right-hander, who nearly lost out to Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik for a berth in India’s T20 World Cup team, has been in superb form in India’s opening two matches against South Africa. Samson’s impactful innings occurred while batting at position five, which is what will most impress the selection committee and the Indian team management.
Samson nearly got India across the finish line in the first ODI in Lucknow with a brilliant century of 86* off 63 balls. He then followed it up with another crucial inning of 30* off 36 balls to get India home in the second game in Ranchi. Although Samson has appeared to be the most poised hitter, Shreyas Iyer has led India in scoring thus far in the series.
The Rajasthan Royals skipper stated that he has been instructed by the Indian team management to be prepared to play in any circumstance before the start of the match.
Samson said, “I have been practising different types of roles in the last couple of years, I have put in the time to understand the types of roles in different teams. I have been given instructions to be ready and do this in the last year. Physically I have been doing a lot of top-order batting, but mentally I am trying to understand the game and how to react according to the situation, a lot of learning has gone into this. It’s important to keep the focus on the process, that has been the talk in the team meetings.”
Meanwhile, India won the series decider third ODI and won the series 2-1 against South Africa. Indian skipper Shikar Dhawan won the toss and opted to bowl first. Indian bowlers, especially spinners thrashed the opposition’s batting lineup. South Africa bundled only for 99 runs thanks to Kuldeep Yadav’s 4-fer. Indian batters finished the match comfortably with Shubhman Gill scoring 49 runs in 57 balls.
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South Africa (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller(c), Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan(c), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson(w), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan