Veteran Indian spinner R Ashwin has backed talented keeper-batter, Sanju Samson, to get all the opportunities he can in order to cement his place in the Indian team. Samson is currently in New Zealand for the white-ball series.
He has been named in both T20Is and ODIs squads but didn’t get a chance in the T20I series which India won 1-0 under Hardik Pandya.
Sanju Samson fans on social media were enraged when he wasn’t picked in the two T20Is that India played, after the first match in Wellington was rained out.
Now, India spin great Ravichandran Ashwin has spoken on the issue of Samson not getting a chance.
"For his (Sanju Samson) talent, if he doesn't play, he will obviously get trended. I want Sanju Samson to get all the opportunities. In fact, I even said that I am looking forward to watching him play since he is in exceptional form at the moment and is playing superbly," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
He further praised Hardik Pandya, who captained India in T20Is against New Zealand for handling the subject of Samson’s exclusion from the playing XI, well.
"He (Samson) is a very exciting player to watch but since we went with a different combination, as of now, we weren't able to play him, said Hardik Pandya. In fact, the press asked him why he didn't play Sanju Samson. Hardik Pandya replied in Thala Dhoni style. He said my room door will always be open, any player can come and have a conversation with me.
It was very good to see him speak with such clarity l. In fact, I don't know if he wanted to say that in Thala Dhoni style because we all know Hardik is super close to Thala Dhoni. And he had earlier said that he has learnt a lot from Thala Dhoni. He handled a tricky question that is always trending on social media very beautifully. So kudos to Hardik," Ashwin said.
Sanju got a chance in the first ODI and scored 36 runs as India made 306/7 in 50 overs after being asked to bat first in Auckland.
However, Sanju Samson was not picked for the three-match ODI series in Bangladesh which will be played next month.