"You Cannot Sign Him Off": Ex-India Star Prefers Samson Over Rahul, Pant

Former India star Suresh Raina backed Sanju Samson as his leading choice for the wicketkeeper-batter role and called the Kerala player the X-Factor. It is worth noting that Samson and Jitesh Sharma have been included as wicketkeeper-batters in India’s squad for three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. Ishan Kishan is not a part of the series as he has asked for rest. Meanwhile, the team management has given no clarity on the absence of KL Rahul, who has cemented his place as wicketkeeper-batter in ODI cricket.

Raina preferred Samson over players like Rahul and Kishan. He added that even if Pant is fit to play, his choice would be Samson only.

“You cannot sign off Sanju Samson. The way he scored a hundred against South Africa on latter’s soil. He plays fearlessly and is a superb wicketkeeper. Samson is also a captain material. He has done really well whenever he has got chances,” said Raina — Expert, JioCinema and Sports18 — during an interaction.

“We have some very good options for wicketkeeper-batter role — KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Pant whenever he comes back after getting fit. I prefer to have Sanju in the middle-order because he has a lot of shots. He plays those pick-up shots against pacers from the length. Hopefully, he performs well in the IPL too before the selectors sit down to select the team for the T20 World Cup.

So, it is a good chance for Sanju against Afghanistan, and he can be our X-Factor in the World Cup,” he added.

Raina also said India will not have it easy against Afghanistan in the three-match T20I series, and the batters will have to put the visiting bowlers under pressure.

(With PTI Inputs)

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