Saba Karim Supports Rishabh Pant Over Sanju Samson Despite Batting Woes
By SMCS - Nov 27, 2022 12:45 pm
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Former India player Saba Karim has backed Rishabh Pant to retain his place in the playing XI for the second ODI against New Zealand despite his batting woes. Karim further added that if any batter has to be out for the Hamilton ODIs, it has to be Sanju Samson. Having lost the Auckland ODI by seven wickets, Team India has to win the game when they take on the Kiwis in Hamilton on Sunday (November 27) as well.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

During a discussion on India News, he opined: “I don’t believe in resting players. If I had to rest Pant, I wouldn’t have picked him in the 15 in the first place. If I have picked him, then he is in my playing XI. We easily forget that he had won us the last one-day match in England with a hundred. No other batter could have won that for India from that position. I would go for Deepak Hooda as a sixth bowling option, and if I had to drop someone, I would drop Sanju Samson. He doesn’t fit at No.3. He is a top-order batter, and that is where he should play.”

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma also backed Karim’s views in the Rishabh Pant vs Sanju Samson debate.

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He expressed: “Indian cricket has invested so much in Pant. He has been given a long rope. He is in the team because he can single-handedly win games for the side. If he is in my 15, I will definitely play him. Even if Samson and Ishan Kishan are the other keeper-batter options, I would still go for Pant first.”

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson

Meanwhile, former India all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi also shared similar thoughts to Karim and Sharma.

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Sodhi said: “We are all supporting Samson and want him to be given a long rope. But if we look at team combination, Samson looks as the only player who can be replaced. 36 off 38 doesn’t guarantee him a place. Impact has to be counted. That is where Team India have to come up and think differently. We are building a team for the World Cup.”