After warming the bench in the T20I series against New Zealand, Indian wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson got the chance to play in the first match of the three-match ODI series. He played a supportive knock of 36 runs off 38 balls and put up a crucial partnership with Shreyas Iyer. However, Samson was dropped again for the 2nd ODI, and it certainly raised a few eyebrows.
On the other hand, Rishabh Pant has been struggling a lot in the shortest format of the game in recent times. He was also having a hard time in the recently-concluded 20-20 World Cup 2022. Pant got the chance in the ODI series as well, In the first match, the 25-year-old scored 15 runs off 23 balls including only two fours. Shockingly, he was still in the squad for the 2nd ODI while Samson was not in the squad. Now all eyes will be on the third and final match of the series.
‘Is he the best white-ball keeper batter? I’m not convinced’: Simon Doull
Former New Zealand bowler and now commentator Simon Doull believes that Pant’s numbers in ODIs – an average of 35, a strike rate of 107 after 25 innings – are decent but Samson is on a roll. In 9 ODI innings in 2022, Samson averages 71 at a strike rate of 105 while playing the role of a lower-middle-order batter.
“Rishabh Pant’s record is a decent sample size. He has played just under 30 games and only averages 35, the strike rate is good. But Sanju in 11 games is averaging 60-something. And I don’t think he is any less of a wicketkeeper. I just think he deserves an opportunity as well,” Doull said.
“The Rishabh Pant vs Sanju Samson debate is an interesting one for me. There is so much talk about Rishabh Pant, and how he is the future. But in white-ball formats, he hasn’t quite done it. Unbelievable Test player, and he is a shoo-in in Tests as the wicketkeeper-batter, no issue with that? But is he the best white-ball keeper batter? I am not convinced,” he pointed out.