Jaffer wants in-form Samson in scheme of things in white-ball team but not at the cost of Pant

Middle-order batter Sanju Samson’s performance in international matches this year has prompted former India opener, Wasim Jaffer, to say that the Kerala player should be in the scheme of things for the Indian team but not at the cost of Rishabh Pant.

Despite scoring 179 runs in seven T20I matches this year at an average of 44.75 and 248 runs in nine ODI matches at a sublime average of 82.66, Samson has been unable to cement his place in the Indian white-ball team.

He has been in and out of the squad and was not picked for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia as the selectors opted for Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik ahead of the Kerala gloveman.

However, Jaffer feels that Samson should get more chances, considering his recent superb performance in the ODI series against South Africa.

In the three-match series against South Africa, Samson hammered an unbeaten 86 in the first match to take the game to the final over. Though his effort went in vain as India lost the match, Samson scored crucial unbeaten 30 runs in the second match and was unbeaten on one run in the series decider in New Delhi.

“Sanju Samson has definitely impressed me a lot. There’s always a question mark on his consistency but he showed that in this series. He couldn’t win India the game in the first match but finished the game in the second and remained not out in both (all three) games,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

However, the former Mumbai Ranji Trophy captain is in doubt that Samson’s progress should not be at the cost of Pant.

“I feel we forget his series-winning century in England very easily. That was in one-day cricket. In T20 cricket, definitely, he’s not very consistent, especially at number four and five but in Test and one-dayers, I don’t think there’s any opposition for him yet. Although K.L Rahul can keep wickets and Sanju Samson has been impressive, I don’t think you can think of replacing Rishabh Pant in one-day cricket. Sanju Samson should be in the scheme of things because of how he plays but not at the cost of Rishabh Pant,” said Jaffer.

That would present the selectors with a dilemma on how to get Samson into the scheme of things after the T20 World Cup.

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