It seems Sanju Samson's celebrations have just begun since his recall into the Indian ODI side. Samson, who has been in and out of the Indian team far too often, missed the Asia Cup and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup followed by the Australia T20 series. His numbers in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and T20Is weren't enough for him to make a return to the side but got a recall in the ODIs and has repaid the selectors' faith with back-to-back two good knocks in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Samson began the tournament with a half-century but struggled in the next few games before playing a quickfire knock of 35 off just 13 balls to help his side's net run rate and slammed his first century of the season in the final Group A game against Railways on Tuesday, December 5. Chasing 256, Kerala underwent a top-order collapse before Samson and Shreyas Gopal stitched a 138-run stand to help their side stay in the contest.
Samson scored 128 off 139 while Gopal smashed a fifty, however, once the partnership was broken, it all came downhill for Kerala once again, who were subjected to only their second loss in the tournament.
Kerala still topped the table (with a better NRR than Mumbai) and skipper Samson will be eager to take his side all the way but he will be happy with his form going into the South Africa series. Averaging 55, Samson has done well in ODIs in the opportunities he has gotten and will be eager to build upon it against the Proteas, keeping the Champions Trophy 2025 in mind.
India's ODI squad for South Africa series: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (C)(wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar