Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 23:46 IST

Gautam Gambhir praises Sanju Samson's stellar century in 3rd ODI showdown against South Africa

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir also had a word of praise for Sanju Samson after his knock against South Africa in the 3rd ODI on Thursday.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Gautam Gambhir on Sanju Samson | Image:PTI, AP
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After winning the toss in the third One-Day International (ODI) between India and South Africa in 2023, South Africa elected to bowl. India won by 78 runs, scoring 296/8 in 50 overs compared to South Africa's 218 runs in 45.5 overs. India decisively won the series 2-1. South Africa's Tony de Zorzi scored 81 runs off 87 balls, while India's Sanju Samson ended with 108 runs off 114 balls. Beuran Hendricks of South Africa took three wickets for 63 runs in nine overs, while Arshdeep Singh of India took four wickets for thirty runs.  

3 things you need to know 

  • India beat South Africa in the 3rd ODI by 78 runs 
  • Sanju Samson was named the Player of the Match 
  • Arshdeep Singh was named the Player of the Series 

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Gautam Gambhir lauds Sanju Samson’s knock against South Africa in the 3rd ODI 

Sanju Samson's century in the third ODI against South Africa, in Gautam Gambhir's opinion, may give his international career a fresh lease on life. The Men in Blue set a target of 297 runs for the Proteas in the series finale at Paarl on Thursday owing in large part to Samson's outstanding performance of 108 runs off 114 deliveries. After that, the Indian squad knocked out the hosts for 218 to win by a clear margin of 78 runs and win what was their second ODI series in South Africa.

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During a Star Sports conversation, Gambhir was asked what he felt about Samson's performance. Speaking on the Player of the Match of 3rd ODI, Gautam Gambhir said: 

“We all know how much talent Sanju Samson has. Not only us, everyone has spoken about it, the sort of knocks he has played in the IPL or T20 cricket. I believe he has kickstarted his international career with this knock.”

Gambhir feels Samson's powerful performance will persuade team management to give the Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman a continuous opportunity. He added: 

“He used to get intermittent chances before this but when you score a hundred, you push the selectors and put pressure on them to give you regular chances in ODI cricket.”

“It needs to be seen whether they will persist with Sanju Samson in ODI cricket because the next World Cup is after four years. However, the quality of player Sanju is, I believe he should definitely be persisted with.”

"The way he keeps as well, you have an excellent option in the middle order. You will always have a heavy top order but Sanju gives you a middle-order option plus wicketkeeping. So I feel his international career has started again after this knock."

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What’s next for Team India?

Team India will now take on South Africa in a two-match Test series beginning on December 26, 2023. 

India’s squad for South Africa Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat (wk)

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 10:57 IST