Veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has backed wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson to bat at no. 3 in the ongoing T20I series against Ireland. Samson, who has been synonymous with no. 3 while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been asked to bat lower down the order for India. However, with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan rested for the Ireland tour, Samson might get the chance to bat in his preferred position.
“Jitesh is a right-hander and Rinku is a left-hander. Both Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh are the ones who could fit in the number 5, and 6 roles. However, I feel Sanju Samson will get the nod as the keeper ahead of Jitesh Sharma. The series is an extraordinary chance to play Sanju as a keeper and make him bat at number 3. He will surely bat at number 3 or 4,” Ashwin on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin also weighed in on the debate around Samson being wasted at no. 6. He feels that India has always been a batting heavy team, especially the top four batters.
“Another debate is on how Sanju Samson is a top-order batter and how he is being wasted as a number 6 in T20Is. See, Team India’s top 4 has been really heavy all this while,” he added.
India won the first T20I against Ireland by two runs via DLS method on Friday.
Samson, however, played just one ball, remaining unbeaten on 1.