Suresh Raina identifies this Rajasthan Royals player as 'X-Factor' for India in upcoming T20 World Cup 2024
Amidst the ongoing discussions regarding the inclusion of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the T20I format just five months ahead of the World Cup in the USA and the West Indies, former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina was prompt to highlight the escalating competition for one specific slot in the India squad for the ICC event in June. This has rendered the wicketkeeping position as the most challenging in the team, with as many as five potential candidates vying for it.
In the upcoming three-match series against Afghanistan commencing Thursday in Mohali, Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma have been selected for the role. However, contenders such as KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant are also strong options for the position. Nevertheless, Raina has thrown his support behind Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Sanju Samson, especially considering the remarkable century he secured against South Africa in the recent ODI series last month.
Suresh Raina throws weight behind his choice
In a media interaction ahead of India's opener against Afghanistan, Raina opined how Sanju Samson's selection could benefit India. Samson has mostly been limited to sporadic chances in the national setup, despite performing consistently.
Echoing on the same lines, Raina said, "You cannot write off Samson after the hundred he scored in the ODI match against South Africa. He is a fearless batter, a good wicketkeeper and a captaincy material. He has always performed every time he is given an opportunity. Then there is Jitesh Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan. There will be a big call. But I would prefer Samson because in the middle overs, he plays excellent pick-up shots. I guess IPL will also play a crucial role in the selection process but the Afghanistan series would be a big opportunity for him. He could be the X-factor for India in the World Cup."