He reasoned that Sanju Samson has not produced the big runs in the last two matches, with Virat Kohli prone to making changes under such circumstances.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif shared their views on the likely changes in the Indian team for the last T20I to be played on Tuesday.
Virender Sehwag was asked if there is any player who he feels should be given a chance in the final T20I. While observing that there is no need to make changes just for the sake of it, the former Indian opener added that Manish Pandey could be brought back into the playing XI if he has recovered from his injury.
“I don’t think there is a need to make forced changes. But they may want to play Manish Pandey if he is fit, but for whom will they play him.”
Sehwag believes that Sanju Samson could be the player to miss out in such a scenario owing to Kohli’s tendency to ring in the changes.
“I can see only one candidate, Sanju Samson has had two games and he has not scored runs. So, Virat Kohli has the habit of making changes after two games, so it is possible he could be the one.”
Mohammad Kaif was asked if he also sees the same change happening. He responded that Sanju Samson has looked in decent touch, especially in the first T20I, and has the ability to play the big shots.
“According to me, we have won the series. He has got two innings and in the first T20I, Sanju Samson was looking good. It felt like he could score runs. And he has the X-factor, he has the ability to hit sixes.”
While acknowledging that Sanju Samson has squandered his chances to a certain extent, the former Indian middle-order batsman expressed hope that the Rajasthan Royals player is given a longer run.
“Yes, he is frittering away his chances. He is new and will get more chances although he has not grasped his chances, like Natarajan has done. That has not happened with Sanju Samson but I feel he should get more chances.”
Mohammad Kaif signed off by stating that Sanju Samson should take a leaf out of Virat Kohli’s book and build an innings if he is persisted with for the final T20I.
“If Samson gets the opportunity now, then he should take the example from Virat Kohli in the middle. Virat Kohli is a player who also makes the runs through singles and doubles. You can hit the sixes but he needs to learn from Virat Kohli on how to build an innings.”
Sanju Samson has scored quickfire 38 runs in the two knocks he has played thus far in the T20I series. Although he has displayed his ball-striking ability, he would hope to make a more significant contribution in the final T20I and cement his place in the Indian team.