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T20 World Cup: Why Sanju Samson should be India’s first-choice keeper and not Rishabh Pant

T20 World Cup: Why Sanju Samson should be India’s first-choice keeper and not Rishabh Pant

T20 World Cup: Sanju Samson vs Rishabh Pant battle continues, but why Samson should be India's number 1 keeper and not Rishabh Pant?

The ICC T20 World Cup is less than a month away. And ahead of the mega tournament, there is a bit of a crisis for the Indian Cricket Team. Preferred keeper Rishabh Pant has been struggling with spin bowling. On the other hand, second choice keeper Sanju Samson is miles ahead of his adversary and should keep wickets for India, at least the stats say so.

When Team India announced their T20 World Cup squad, it was a premeditated idea that Rishabh Pant will don the keeper’s gloves. But now that the IPL 2024 is slowly advancing towards it’s end, it is becoming more and more clear that Sanju Samson is the best fit to be the number 1 keeper for India.

Big Problems for Rishabh Pant

Stats don’t lie and neither will in this case. Ever since his return to action, Rishabh Pant has struggled against spinners. He has been excellent against Pace attacks though. Taking IPL 2024 for reference, Rishabh Pant has been dismissed a total of 5 times against a spinner, the latest coming in the DC vs RR clash against Yuzvendra Chahal.

Rishabh Pant vs Spinners in IPL 2024

YearInningsRunsOutsAvgSR4s6sDot %
202411131526.2114.97635.1

Rishabh Pant has managed to rake up 131 runs against spinners while he managed to score 282 runs against Pacers at a blistering rate. Despite having a good IPL campaign with the bat (413 runs), it is major concern for India. His strike rate of 115 and taking 9 deliveries to slam a boundary further adds to the concern along with his 35% chance of playing a dot ball.

Pitches in USA and Caribbeans will be on the slower side and will provide assistance to the spinners. Moreover, Pant is set go down in the middle, where he will be required to hit every ball. Should, he continue to falter against spinners, it will be huge problem for the Men in Blue.

More on T20 WC

Sanju Samson to the Rescue!

However, there is another option that perfectly fits the bill. Sanju Samson has rediscovered himself with his batting abilities for Rajasthan Royals. Samson has been in deft touch in this campaign as has shown brilliance in facing both spinners and pacers. In fact, he hasn’t been dismissed by a spinner in IPL 2024 so far.

Some might argue, that Samson has pushed himself up the order to bat at number 3. But spinners have often been introduced in the powerplay and Samson has shown valiant attacking prowess in conquering them.

Sanju Samson vs Spinners in IPL 2024

YearInningsRunsOutsAvgSR4s6sDot %
202461420149.511518.9

Sanju Samson has hammered spinners in IPL and his stats are a testament to that. Batting at a strike rate of 150 he has slammed 142 runs in 6 innings and is yet to be dismissed by a spinner. Making a further case for him is his ability to play a dot ball of just 19%.

The stats are a clear indicative that Sanju Samson should be the number 1 keeper for India. Sanju not only has played the role of an enforcer and anchor at number 5 or 6, he is also an able captain who can ready the game well. And with pitches favouring spinner in T20 World Cup, it is only natural that India opt for a player who knows how to tackle spinners.

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