By India Today Sports Desk: Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan wants Sanju Samson to be given an extended run in the Indian ODI team ahead of the World Cup 2023. Samson was called back into the Indian ODI set-up in the absence of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant and is expected to start in the middle-order against West Indies.
Given that India will begin their road map for the ODI World Cup, set to be held in India in the months of October and November, the series will be crucial for Samson to solidify his place in the Indian team. The batter has an average of 66 after playing 11 ODI matches and was given his first proper run in 2022 where he scored two half-centuries.
Speaking via Twitter, Pathan said that Samson's abilities against both pace and spin could be of great help for India, who are a little short-staffed in the middle order at the moment.
"Given Pant's ongoing recovery, it's time to give Sanju Samson an extended opportunity in one day cricket. With his skills as a proficient middle-order wicketkeeper-batsman and excellent spin-playing abilities, he could prove to be a valuable addition," Pathan said on Twitter.
India captain Rohit Sharma had also backed Samson's abilities as a batter and had said back in 2022 that there are some shots that Samson played that were difficult to explain.
“His back-foot play is superb, some of the shots you must have seen during the IPL, the pick-up pull, the cut shots, standing and delivering over bowler’s head. Those kinds of shots are not easy to play and I believe when we go to Australia, you need those kind of shot-making ability and Samson does has it in him. I just hope that he utilises his potential to the maximum," the captain had said back in 2022.
Samson will be vying for a position in the West Indies tour against Ishan Kishan. Kishan himself has blown hot and cold in 2023 since his thundering double century against Banglasdesh. India will be playing a three match ODI series in West Indies.