“There is no space for him in the Top 4” – R Ashwin ends debate over Sanju Samson’s ODI World Cup chances
By SMCS - Aug 8, 2023 10:00 am
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As the ODI World Cup 2023 is around the corner, Team India are in the final stages of deciding the team combination as well. While they have tried and tasted many players in the middle order, they are yet to find the right balance. Meanwhile, Sanju Samson played a great role in the third ODI and even scored a half-century while batting at No. 4. But veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels that Samson has got “no space” in the top-4 in ODIs as well.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson

“The other player who got a chance was Sanju Samson. He scored a fifty in the ODI series. In the T20I match, he scored 12 off 12. He got a role in the middle-order. When it comes to IPL, he bats at number three or four largely. Mind you, he has got a very good record in ODIs. A very good average and he scored a 50 in the third ODI as well. And he took down spin as soon as he came in, and that’s his specialty,” R Ashwin said in a video on his YouTube channel.

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“When it comes to Team India, the number 3 and 4 slot is not open. Given Sanju’s ability and talent, we know he can change the course of he game at any point. He is a very good guy and we all want good for him. But the role we expect from Sanju when it comes to Team India is different. There is no space for him in the Top 4. Whether there will be a spot for him after the World Cup or after one or two years after the World Cup, we will have to wait and watch,” he further added.

Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul

However, their key players KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are yet to return to the squad from their injuries. And, they are absolute favourites in those places as well. Moreover, India gave rest to Kohli and Rohit in the ongoing West Indies series to check the other players as well. Notably, India will begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 as well.

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“Because Virat at 3 is a fix. Rohit and Gill are also fixed as openers. Shreyas and KL are also absolute certainties when they are fit. We need a keeper-batter alone as a backup. So, if one of KL or Shreyas is not available they need a backup at 4 or 5. But Sanju is not doing that role in IPL. He is starting to do that role only in ODIs and he has scored a 50 in that role now. That’s good news for him and Team India. I feel Sanju Samson will be ahead in the contingency plan as far as the ODI World Cup is concerned and Tilak Varma is almost there,” R Ashwin concluded.