A 25-year-old Sanju Samson may have over 3000 T20 runs under his belt but just two international appearances. Having played his very first match for the Indian cricket team all the way back in 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe, the cricketer got his second and seemingly last chance in the time to come, to don the blue kit on Friday, January 10, 2020.
Sanju Samson finally gets to play his second T20I; his first came in 2015.
Three changes for India, while Angelo Mathews and Lakshan Sandakan are back in Sri Lanka's XI https://t.co/vYyCfFtg1i #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/fU1zLKE02O
This atypically long gap between two international matches made Samson the owner of an unwarranted record for most T20Is missed between two appearances. By the looks of it, Samson's misfortunes as a Man in Blue continue to haunt him as the team has decided to drop him yet again ahead of the five T20Is to be played against New Zealand on foreign soil.
India's T20I squad for NZ tour announced: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, S Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, W Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur— BCCI (@BCCI) January 12, 2020
Emotions were flowing at full strength during the third and final T20I between India and Sri Lanka when Samson was promoted to bat one-down in the batting order by skipper Virat Kohli. There was a feeling of desperation in Samson's eyes when he approached the pitch. He wanted to show the world that he belonged on the ground, he wanted to show the world that he was good enough.
The first ball that he faced, the Trivandrum favourite smashed the delivery for a maximum but the second delivery by Wanindu Hasaranga trapped him with a clear LBW and that was it for the glorious return of the wicket-keeper batsman.January 10, 2020
“With time and experience I have come to realise that I need to have a very clear head and a balanced state of mind,” Samson had told me back in November, 2019 but at that moment, his mind was pacing and his face gave away the frustration like a bad poker player.
Was this how his international career had to end? Will he be remembered as nothing but a tiny spec of dust in the vast history that Indian cricket boasts? “What was that cricketer's name who had a lot of potential but never made it big,” is this how the future generations were going to address the man?
It's actually little unfair on Sanju Samson, he didn't do anything wrong. The only opportunity he got after 4 years in which he had to go from very first ball! They should've selected him for 5 long T20Is against New Zealand.#SanaWorldWide #SanjuSamson # pic.twitter.com/3kAyu48IXw— Rahul Nath (@Rntk____) January 12, 2020
Even though age is on his side and the fact that he will continue to earn a ton of money given his brilliance in domestic cricket and the Indian Premier League, there is not a bigger honour for an athlete to represent their nation but by the looks of it, Samson might not receive that honour anytime soon.