Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 12:34 IST

'This hundred is going to change his career': Sunil Gavaskar offers his verdict on Sanju Samson

Sunil Gavaskar praised Sanju Samson for his maiden century in the third ODI against South Africa, after India secured the ODI series by 2-1.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Sunil Gavaskar on Sanju Samson | Image:PTI, AP

South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl in the third ODI of the India vs. South Africa series in 2023. India won comfortably, scoring 296/8 in 50 overs while South Africa scored 218 runs in 45.5 overs, giving India a 78-run victory. Sanju Samson of India finished with 108 runs off 114 balls, while Tony de Zorzi of South Africa produced 81 runs off 87 balls. Arshdeep Singh of India grabbed four wickets for 30 runs in nine overs, while Beuran Hendricks of South Africa took three wickets for 63 runs in nine overs.  

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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Sunil Gavaskar made a huge statement on Sanju Samson’s knock against South Africa

Sunil Gavaskar, the renowned batting genius, backed Sanju Samson even before the strong batsman turned his precisely built half-century into a three-figure total against Aiden Markram's South Africa in Paarl on Thursday. The renowned Indian cricketer also advised the prolific Samson to be cautious with his smashes, especially after a mistimed stroke nearly resulted in a wicket-taking opportunity for the Proteas during the 3rd One Day International (ODI) at Boland Park.


Samson endured many disappointments in the 2023 season after serving as the understudy to wicketkeeper KL Rahul at the Asia Cup, only to lose out on a ticket in the World Cup. However, he eventually silenced his detractors with a stunning effort in the series finale against South Africa. Samson's first century bolstered his case for inclusion in the limited-overs format, sealing a historic triumph over a Rohit Sharma-less Team India in South Africa. Samson, who is known for his aggressive batting style, played a perfect ODI performance, winning plaudits from former Indian captain Gavaskar. Speaking to Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar, said: 

“The standout for me from this innings was his shot selection. In the past, he has gotten out despite getting starts. Today, you couldn't fault him at all, he was biding his time, waiting for the bad ball, and then getting a hundred. I think this hundred is going to change his career. One, he will get more opportunities because of this hundred,”

"Secondly, I think he will also start to believe in himself more that he belongs to this level. Sometimes you know you are there, but the luck is not with you and things like that. You get a tremendous delivery, and a great catch, all these things can make you doubt whether you actually belong there. This century will make him believe he belongs here. He has always belonged here, mind you. We all know the talent he has. But somehow he had not delivered, but today he delivered not just for everybody but for himself as well," 

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What’s next for Team India?

Team India will now be seen in action against South Africa in the 2-match Test series, which will start 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)





Published December 22nd, 2023 at 09:39 IST