'IPL will give him fame but he has to score runs for Kerala': Sreesanth
Sanju Samson was a notable absentee from India's squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Former India quick S Sreesanth made an interesting remark on the career trajectory of the prodigiously talented Sanju Samson.
For Sreesanth, while it is brilliant that Samson can withstand his ground firmly as captain and player for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the IPL, he needs to also perform consistently for Kerala in first-class cricket.
Samson is a notable absentee from India's T20 World Cup squad picked for the conditions in Australia, where his pace-handling abilities were expected to hold the cricketer in very good stead.
Playing the role of a middle-overs aggressor for Royals, the right-hander has a 7-15 overs strike-rate of just below 150 with an average of 32.93 versus pace since IPL 2020. Despite that, however, Sanju Samson isn't even in the reserves for the tournament.
Sreesanth, though, believes it is lack of consistent domestic performances for Kerala that haven't helped the batter's image among the selectors. Samson, who last played a first-class match in December 2019, has featured in only six of India's 29 T20Is for the year.
Sreesanth's interesting remarks on Sanju Samson
"He has to be consistent. See, everyone is talking about the IPL. I’m from Kerala, I’m somebody who has always supported him. I’ve seen him play from U14. He has played under me," Sreesanth told Hindustan Times at the sidelines of the 'Legends League Cricket' in Delhi.
"In fact, I was the one who gave him the cap on his Ranji Trophy debut. But the way I see him… it’s a request to him – he has to start performing in first-class matches."
For all his strong IPL performances, Sreesanth reckons consistent outings for Kerala at the domestic level remain a missing piece in Samson's puzzle. Sreesanth said the IPL will give Samson "fame" but to really establish himself as an all-format star for India, he needs to come up with quality knocks for his state side.
"Yes, IPL is very important. IPL will give him fame, popularity, and riches, everything across the globe. But I have this strong feeling – for any cricketer for that matter – that they need to start doing extremely well for the state side, especially in first-class cricket."
"Sanju has to come out and perform in first-class matches. Not just score a hundred, score 200s. Come and make the Kerala team win the Ranji Trophy! Make Kerala team win the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Then, the Kerala cricketers will come out on top," he added.