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  5. Not Rinku Singh or Jitesh Sharma: Suresh Raina picks 29-year-old as India's X-factor for T20 World Cup

Not Rinku Singh or Jitesh Sharma: Suresh Raina picks 29-year-old as India's X-factor for T20 World Cup

The youngsters, who have gotten chances for India so far in T20Is for the last 6-8 months, have impressed one and all. The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh have taken the chances with both hands, however, as per Suresh Raina, an experienced player could be India's X-factor.

Written By: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: January 12, 2024 6:30 IST
Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh have been impressive for
Image Source : AP Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh have been impressive for India in the chances they have gotten in T20Is

With the focus on ODIs in 2023, the youngsters got an extensive run in the T20Is for India throughout the year and some of them were able to really cement their place in the team even when the first-choice players returned since there is a T20 World Cup in sight now. The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh have taken chances with both hands and have performed consistently while playing the modern brand of T20 cricket. 

Even though the IPL might be the final deciding factor as far as India's T20 World Cup squad is concerned, a few players such as Rinku and Jitesh and even Jaiswal might retain their spot. However, for Suresh Raina, former Indian batter, not either of these three, but Sanju Samson could be India's X-factor in the T20 World Cup. Samson, who returned to the Indian T20 side for the first time since the Ireland tour in August made his comeback on the back of his maiden international century batting at No.3 in the ODI series decider against South Africa last month.

Speaking before the first T20I against Afghanistan, Raina suggested that he not only is an exceptional T20 batter but also is captaincy material for India in the future.

"Sanju has made a wonderful hundred against South Africa recently. He is definitely captain material as his mind is ticking all the time while on the field. We have some very good options for the wicketkeeper-batter role -- KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Pant whenever he comes back after getting fit," Raina told Sports18.

''I prefer to have Sanju in the middle-order because he has a lot of shots. He plays those pick-up shots against pacers from the length. Hopefully, he performs well in the IPL too before the selectors sit down to select the team for the T20 World Cup," Raina added. "So, it is a good chance for Sanju against Afghanistan, and he can be our X-Factor in the World Cup."

However, unfortunately for Samson, he missed out on selection in the playing XI with the likes of Shivam Dube, Jitesh and Tilak Varma getting the nod in the absence of Virat Kohli. However, with the line-up India played, it looks like Samson might get a chance in the second T20I in Indore or in the finale as it seems that the Men in Blue want to try out all the options at their disposal.

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