Whatmore pat for Samson
Sanju Samson’s maiden List A hundred earned him a place in the record books.
Samson hit an unconquered 212 (129 balls; 21x4, 10x6) for Kerala against Goa in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Group A game in Alur on Saturday, eclipsing the 209 not out by Pakistan’s Abid Ali to hit the highest-ever List A score by a wicketkeeper-batsman.
More importantly, the 24-year-old’s knock came before two national selectors, with chairman MSK Prasad being one of them.
The Kerala cricketer’s knock is also the third highest List A score in India and fourth by an Indian. His majestic double-century helped him register the highest score in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as he surpassed KV Kaushal of Uttarakhand, who had scored 202 against Sikkim last year.
For the record, Kerala won the game comfortably by 104 runs.
“We were all very privileged to witness a world record for a keeper-batsman. It was a thrill and privilege to watch him play such an innings,” Kerala coach Dav Whatmore told The Telegraph.
“He took a little bit of time getting his first 100, but when he got that, it was a case of how disciplined he stayed at the crease to get it because he still had some time in his hands. He showed that he has got that discipline.
“In some ways, he has turned the corner a bit because he has been guilty of being in total and then getting out. But on this occasion, he showed what he is capable of. Hopefully he will be getting more big scores.”
Whatmore agreed that the 212 not out could make Samson knock on Team India doors harder, especially in the shorter formats.
“Definitely, and it was done before two of the Indian selectors, one of whom was the chairman,” Whatmore said, adding: “I think for the shorter formats, Sanju will certainly be discussed very strongly.
“The spots are open and he can certainly put his hand up and grab one. But he has continue being consistent, which could help him don India colours.”
Asked if this knock could play a role in making Samson emerge as a contender to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s substitute in ODIs and T20Is, Whatmore seemed quite positive.
“Look, let’s put it into perspective. It was an incredible performance by Sanju today, but it was also his first List A hundred.
“He does have a few (two to be precise) in the shortest version, but as I said, he needs to be more consistent.
“We all marvel at his potential, his skills and his talent. But a few more hundreds will definitely advance his elevation. I think there will be a definite strong discussion about him before the selection for next year’s T20 World Cup,” Whatmore concluded.