After being out of the reckoning for more than four years, Sanju Samson finally made his return to the national team when he was called for the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh. Since Rishabh Pant was the first-choice wicketkeeper in 2019, Samson only got to play one match in the home season before being dropped.
He replaced Shikhar Dhawan for New Zealand T20Is but given the team combination, Samson wasn’t expected to get a game. However, the team management sprung a surprise by giving Samson opening spot in the fourth and fifth T20Is.
Since Samson failed to score big on both the occasions, he now has a direct competition with Rishabh and only one of them is expected to grab the spot. Samson is unfazed with the competition and suggests that he doesn’t think about competing with his former IPL teammate.
“I think it all depends on the team combination. I never thought about all these lines (competition with Rishabh Pant). As a cricketer when you’re competing or when you’re trying to get into a sport, if you have an eye on other players – I don’t think that’s the way to play your cricket,” Sanju told TimesofIndia.com.
“Whenever people talk to me about my competition with Pant, I like to think about me and him playing together. Not just play, we also have a lot of fun together. I think it will be a really good thing – we are known to dominate bowlers and we have done it in the past as well. So, I always look forward to playing with Pant. I don’t consider myself competing with him,” he added.
Samson, who made it to the national team for the limited-overs tour of England in 2014, was confirmed to warm the bench due to the presence of former captain MS Dhoni. He returned for the Zimbabwe tour next year and played one T20I there. He was dropped once the regulars were back and failed to make a return due to his inconsistent performances in domestic cricket.