This is a time of change in guard in Indian cricket team's management. Vikram Rathour has taken over as the new batting coach and he has to now look at new options for India's middle order. At this time, Sanju Samson has thrown his name back in the ring with a belligerent 48-ball 91 as India A romped to a 36-run win over South Africa A in the fifth and final unofficial ODI.
This prompted Harbhajan Singh to endorse the wicket-keeper batsman as one of the candidates to get the job done for India at the number 4 position. Taking to Twitter, Harbhajan wrote: "Why not @IamSanjuSamson at number 4 in odi.. with good technique and good head on his shoulders.. well played today anyways against SA."
Gambhir agrees with Harbhajan Singh
Following this, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir too endorsed Samson and said that he has been consistent for a long time and needs to get a look in for the national team. Gambhir, taking to Twitter, said: "Yes@harbhajan_singh on current form and his skills this Southern Star, @IamSanjuSamson can bat even on Moon's South Pole!!! I wonder if they had space on Vikram to carry this marvel of a batsman. Well done Sanju on scoring 91 off 48 balls against South Africa A side."
It should be said here that Gambhir has been a long-time admirer of Samson and even propped his name ahead of the World Cup for the number 4 slot. Speaking on Star Sports' 'Game Plan: India's Road to World Cup' show, the former opener had said: "For me it's been very clear, and I see Sanju Samson the right person who can fit at no. 4 spot of the team. I have always believed in thinking out of the box and look for best quality players, Sanju would be the best pick."
Immediately after he took charge as India's batting coach, Vikram Rathour spoke about this long-standing issue. His brief is quite simple - he needs to find batsmen who can be permanent solutions to the woes in the middle order. He has spoken about how he views Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer as the long term solutions in the middle order, but in Samson there is another viable option. Also, the Kerala batsman is a solid wicket-keeper which makes things quite interesting.
"The middle-order in one-day is not doing well and we must, of course, sort it out. Shreyas Iyer has done well in the last couple of games and we also have Manish Pandey. These two guys have done very well in domestic cricket and with India A. These are the batters who are capable of doing the job and I have no doubt about it in my mind. It is a matter of getting it right at the top level," Rathour said in an interview to BCCI.tv.