Despite making his international debut in 2014, Sanju has featured in less than 50 international games for India. He has played 13 ODIs for India, scoring 390 runs at an average of 55.71 and a strike rate of 104.00 in 12 innings. He has scored three half-centuries, with the best score of 86*.
His T20I stats are: 374 runs in 24 matches and 21 innings at an average of 19.68 and a strike rate of 133.57. He has scored one half-century, with the best score being 77.
Sanju was last selected to play during the tour of West Indies from July-August this year. While he scored a half-century in his last ODI and overall 60 runs in two matches, he failed to deliver during the T20I series. He scored just 32 runs in just three innings, with the best score of 13.
Talking about the 28-year-old Sanju’s exclusion from the much-anticipated mega tournament, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh said the 28-year-old will have to wait for some more time’.
“If you average 55 in ODIs and you are not part of the squad, then of course the questions will be raised. He played really well in the West Indies recently. Sanju wasn’t selected because India already have two wicketkeepers in their World Cup squad – KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. Ishan also scored decent runs in the West Indies. Ishan also played a really brilliant knock against Pakistan (in the Asia Cup),” Harbhajan said.
“If I have to choose between KL Rahul and Sanju Samson, I would definitely pick KL Rahul. I will put KL Rahul ahead of Sanju. I am picking KL because of the stability he provides at No.4, and No.5. Samson is also a talented player and can hit sixes at will. I am his big fan. You can’t have three wicketkeeper-batters in a team. If there will be then it will be difficult to field all of them in the XI,” he said.
“Sanju is talented but he will need to wait for his chance. He will have to wait for his time and turn. Ishan Kishan is set. He has cemented his place. KL too has cemented his place. KL is a class player. Sanju has to wait. Age is by his side. He is a great student of the game and a talented cricketer. He has played a lot of IPL matches and captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. But he will have to wait some more time. I do feel for Sanju Samson,” Harbhajan said.
India will kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.