Former cricketers criticise Sanju Samson for wasting opportunities

Sanju Samson, the talented wicketkeeper-batter from India, finds himself under the microscope once again as former cricketers voice their disappointment over his inability to capitalize on his chances in the ongoing T20I series against the West Indies.

With voices like Aakash Chopra and Kamran Akmal weighing in, it is evident that Samson's performances have not lived up to the expectations of fans and cricket pundits alike.

The 28-year-old has long been hailed as one of the most promising talents in Indian cricket. With his elegant stroke play and ability to anchor the innings, he has often been viewed as a potential game-changer in the limited-overs format.

However, despite his immense potential, Samson has struggled to cement his place in the Indian XI and convert his starts into substantial match-winning innings.

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In the first two T20Is of the five-match series against the West Indies, Samson's bat remained relatively silent, aggregating only 19 runs across both matches. For a player of his caliber and experience, this lackluster performance has raised eyebrows and drawn criticism from seasoned cricketing figures.

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra, known for his astute analysis of the game, emphasized the significance of the third T20I in a video shared on his YouTube channel. Chopra called on Samson to seize the moment and not let the opportunity slip through his fingers. He warned that a failure to make the most of his chances could lead to someone like Jitesh Sharma replacing him as a middle-order wicketkeeper-batter in India's T20I side.

Sanju Samson needs to make a mark

Chopra's concern stems from the fact that young players like Ishan Kishan have shown promise in the top-order, and Samson needs to make his mark from the middle-order.

The former opener's words echo the sentiments of many cricket enthusiasts who feel that Samson has had ample opportunities to make a statement but has failed to deliver consistently.

Kamran Akmal, the veteran Pakistani cricketer, also joined in the chorus of criticism directed towards Samson. He expressed his disappointment in Samson's failure to register significant scores under pressure.

Kamran Akmal noted that despite having been around for several years, Samson has not been able to solidify his place in the Indian team due to inconsistent performances.

In the second T20I against the West Indies, Samson's dismissal for just seven runs off as many deliveries raised questions about his ability to handle pressure situations.

With ample overs remaining in the innings, he had the chance to stabilize the Indian innings and prove his worth to the team. Unfortunately, the opportunity slipped away, leaving many wondering if Samson can indeed thrive under pressure and become a reliable match-winner for India.

Samson's critics argue that his inability to capitalize on opportunities has been a recurring theme throughout his career.

While he has shown glimpses of his brilliance on occasion, these flashes of brilliance have not translated into consistent match-winning performances. As a result, the talented cricketer finds himself in a perpetual cycle of trying to prove his worth to the team management and fans.

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It is not that Samson lacks talent or skill. His performances in domestic cricket and in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have been exceptional at times, showcasing his potential as a top-class batsman. However, the transition to international cricket has proven to be more challenging, with the pressure of representing the country seemingly affecting his performance.

Critics also argue that Samson's approach at the crease needs to be more mature and responsible. In situations where the team requires stability and consolidation, he has sometimes been guilty of playing rash shots, leading to his downfall. Learning to read the game situation better and adapting his style accordingly is seen as a crucial aspect of his development as a batsman.

Sanju Samson
Photo by Icon sport

On the other hand, Samson has shown glimpses of his potential in the recent ODI series against the West Indies, where he played a crucial knock of 51 runs in the series decider. This innings highlighted his ability to perform under pressure and hinted at what he is capable of when he finds his rhythm.

The key for Samson is to translate these sporadic moments of brilliance into consistent performances on the international stage. With competition for places in the Indian team intensifying, he must rise to the occasion and make the most of every opportunity that comes his way.

As India locks horns with the West Indies in the third T20I, the pressure is on Sanju Samson to prove his mettle and silence his critics. With the support of his team and guidance from experienced players and coaches, he has the potential to become a vital cog in India's T20I setup.

The onus is now on Samson to show the world why he has been considered one of India's most promising talents and finally turn that promise into consistent performances that can make a lasting impact on the team's success.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India