Home Cricket News Saba Karim Backs Rishabh Pant Over Sanju Samson Despite Batting Woes

Saba Karim Backs Rishabh Pant Over Sanju Samson Despite Batting Woes

Saba Karim Backs Rishabh Pant Over Sanju Samson Despite Batting Woes
Rishabh Pant (Photo: Twitter)

Former India cricketer Saba Karim has supported Rishabh Pant, to retain his place in the playing XI for the second ODI against New Zealand despite his poor batting show. He further added that if any batter has to sit out it has to be Sanju Samson.

Notably, Rishabh Pant got out for 15 off 23 in the first ODI. While many want Pant to be given a break, Karim has something else in mind. During a discussion on India News, he opined:

“I don’t believe in resting players. If I had to rest Pant, I wouldn’t have picked him in the 15 in the first place. If I have picked him, then he is in my playing XI. We easily forget that he had won us the last one-day match in England with a hundred. No other batter could have won that for India from that position.”

The former player added: “I would go for Deepak Hooda as a sixth bowling option, and if I had to drop someone, I would drop Sanju Samson. He doesn’t fit at No.3. He is a top-order batter, and that is where he should play.”

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Credit: Twitter)

“He can single-handedly win games for the side” – Rajkumar Sharma on Rishabh Pant

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma also backed Karim in the Pant vs Samson debate as well. As per Sharma, India have invested heavily in Pant for a reason also. He explained:

“Indian cricket has invested so much in Pant. He has been given a long rope. He is in the team because he can single-handedly win games for the side. If he is in my 15, I will definitely play him. Even if Samson and Ishan Kishan are the other keeper-batter options, I would still go for Pant first.”

Both Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson were part of Team India’s playing XI for the Auckland ODI. While Pant was dismissed very cheaply, Samson scored 36 off 38. Meanwhile, former India all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi also shared similar thoughts to Karim and Sharma as well. He empathised with Samson but stated that India’s team combination would be better with a sixth-bowling option as well. Sodhi said:

“We are all supporting Samson and want him to be given a long rope. But if we look at team combination, Samson looks as the only player who can be replaced. 36 off 38 doesn’t guarantee him a place. Impact has to be counted. That is where Team India have to come up and think differently. We are building a team for the World Cup.”

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