When Opportunity Comes, Just Grab it' - Aakash Chopra Advises Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson has played 11 ODIs and 17 T20Is (Twitter)
Former cricketer Aakash Chopra remarked on Sanju Samson's debarring from the Indian team cricket, stating that it is to do with his under-performance in the national jersey.
Samson had played nine ODIs for India in 2022, scoring 284 runs. However, he was overlooked in the ODI series versus Sri Lanka held in January.
He was included in the T20I squad for the Sri Lanka series but an injury in the first match ruled him out. He has not played international cricket since.
Citing Samson's massive fan following, Chopra drew attention towards the point that there has been continuous uproar to include the Kerala-born in the Indian team. But it is ignored that he has underachieved at that level.
"Indian cricket is interesting. Like it or hate it, but the fact is that the atmosphere creates perception, and that is sometimes stronger than the truth. Sanju has a cult following. Where he comes from, it is very obvious that the place and region have a digital presence. When he plays well, he makes batting look easy. He got some opportunities for India but didn't make the most of it," Chopra said as quoted on YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia's podcast.
The former Indian batter explained the musical chairs going in the Indian team, giving Ishan Kishan's example; who had to sit out in the Sri Lankan ODIs after hitting a double century in Bangladesh.
"There is just no place in the XI. Ishan Kishan scored a double-century and yet we didn't give him the next few matches. When he did, he was asked to bat at No. 5. There isn't a place. And it's not because KL Rahul wasn't available. Had he been available, he would have still sat out.
"When the opportunity comes, just grab it away. If you throw it away for whatever reason, then you regret it," the cricketer-turned-commentator added.
Samson returns to action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. He will captain last season's runner-up Rajasthan Royals.