Published on: Dec 30, 2022
Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has stated that he wants to see keeper-batter Sanju Samson getting a long run in the India team. Samson has been named in the Indian squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka, which begins at the star of January
Samson has failed to find a permanent place in the Indian team over the years, facing stiff competition from Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan. Team India will take on Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series, starting January 3.
Speaking to PTI during an interaction organized by Star Sports, Rajasthan Royals (RR) Director of Cricket Sangakkara said, “I want to see Sanju getting a long run in this Indian side because he is a very special player. They have got a good mixture of pace, spin and utility players. It will be a tough challenge for Sri Lanka but in T20 they have tools to match them.”
Samson is the captain of the Rajasthan franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He will lead the team in the 2023 season as well. During the interaction Sangakkara also praised young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been picked in the T20I squad that will take on the Lankans. Speaking about Gaikwad, Sangakkara said: “I love watching Ruturaj Gaikwad’s batting and he is one player who can bat correctly and yet have enormous impact in T20 cricket.”
While Samson and Kishan have been named in the squads for the Sri Lanka series, there is no place for Rishabh Pant. Some reports have claimed he is nursing a niggle, but there is no official confirmation of the same. Speaking about Pant, Sangakkara commented, “I think for one Rishabh Pant can improve his wicketkeeping quite a bit. A lot of people only concentrate on his batting, and it is combination of two that increases confidence.
“I know it is hard and boring but he can really become good by concentrating on smaller moments and that in turn will help him in white ball cricket, and then he will become the keeper he is expected to become,” he added.
Sangakkara further advised Pant to be more selective when it comes to his stroke-making, asking him to pick his battles smartly. He explained, “In his batting, I have got no doubt that he has got all the shots, ability and talent but it is about understanding how you build an innings in T20 cricket, knowing which bowlers to attack and be a little smart.”
–By A Cricket Correspondent