'Samson over Pant? I know he's got close connection...': Moody argues with Sreesanth over India's likely XI for T20WC | Crickit
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'Samson over Pant? I know he's got close connection...': Moody argues with Sreesanth over India's likely XI for T20WC

May 03, 2024 04:55 PM IST

Tom Moody was not at all convinced with Sreesanth picking Sanju Samson in India's playing XI for the T20 World Cup ahead of Rishabh Pant.

Until Tuesday this week, the discussion among veteran cricketers and experts pertained to picking their preferred 15-member squad for India for the impending T20 World Cup. However, over the next few days, the discussion shifted to what India's playing XI could possibly look like after the BCCI lifted the lid over the much-awaited World Cup squad.

Tom Moody and Sreesanth at loggerheads over India's likely playing XI for the T20 World Cup
Tom Moody and Sreesanth at loggerheads over India's likely playing XI for the T20 World Cup

Former cricketers Tom Moody and Sreesanth were among the first to enter the talks around India's XI for the ICC tournament, but both found themselves in a bit of an argument on air after the Indian suggested that he would rather picked Sanju Samson ahead of Rishabh Pant for the wicketkeeping spot.

Speaking to Star Sports on Thursday ahead of BCCI's presser in Mumbai, Moody picked Pant as his No. 6 batter followed by all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Shivam Dube to complete the batting line-up.

When Sreesanth was asked to picked his batting formation, he picked Samson for India's T20 World Cup opener against Ireland, which left Moody baffled. While the former India World Cup winner reckoned that the Rajasthan Royals captain has a better record against spinners an fast bowlers, Moody quickly countered with a Pant question before Sreesanth added that his lineup already has two left-handers in Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ravindra Jadeja and hence wanted a right-handed Samson in the middle order.

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Moody was still not convinced with the explanation as he accused Sreesanth cheekily of showing favouritism in picking Samson over Pant before the latter concluded the argument with a subtle MS Dhoni comparison.

Here's how the conversation went:

Moody: Samson's not playing because I've got Pant playing at six. I'd have Hardik and Dube at 6th and 7th. That's if you're going with a batting-strong side. And then you can play your two fast bowlers and your two specialist spinners.

Anchor: What about you Sreesanth?

Sreesanth: I will also look at Sanju for the first game.

Moody: Are you picking both of them?

Sreesanth: Not really

Moody: Which one are you picking?

Sreesanth: I am picking Sanju. Against Ireland, I'm picking him.

Moody: (laughs) Thank you. But why against Ireland?

Sreesanth: Because he is good against the spinners and the fast bowlers.

Moody: And Pant is not?

Sreesanth: He is. But we also have Jadeja and Yashasvi as left-handed batters.

Moody: I know he has got a very close connection with Sanju. So if Ireland win the first game will you go with Pant?

Sreesanth: Let's look at Sanju and give that opportunity for which he was lacking. He's in form, and he's winning matches, and he's got a very cool head. If you look at the captaincy as well, he has been rated really high. So Sanju deserves that opportunity. And that is why I said he would go with it... he is not only a keeper-batsman, but a keeper captain as well. We spoke about the 2007 World Cup. I have a strong feeling that if Sanju is around, he knows the team , he can bat around the likes of Yashasvi and win the World Cup.

India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign on June 5 against Ireland in New York, before taking on arch-rivals Pakistan on June 9 at the same venue. Other teams clubbed with India in Group A of the tournament are co-hosts USA and Canada.

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