Six years after making his T20 International (T201) debut, Kerala star Sanju Samson is all set to make his maiden One-Day International (ODI) appearance in Colombo on Sunday.
A second-string India take on hosts Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series starting Sunday. It will be followed by a three-match T20I series.
Sanju made his T20I debut on July 19, 2015, against Zimbabwe at Harare. Sanju, who played as a specialist batsman, made 19 as India lost the match by 10 runs.
The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has since then played only six more T201s despite his fine performances in the IPL. His highest score being 23 made against Australia last year. Sanju was dropped from the Indian T20I team for the home series against England after a rather ordinary outing in the T20I series Down Under.
Sanju and Jharkhand youngster Ishan Kishan are the wicketkeeper-batsmen in the Indian squad in Lanka. Sanju has looked in good touch during the practice sessions. The fact that his former Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid is the head coach of the Indian team will also be a huge boost to Sanju's morale.
Dravid had made it clear that all the players in the squad will get their chance in the six-match tour.
Sanju will be eager to make it count in the ODIs and shed his label of being a T20 specialist. He needs to score big runs to stake his claim to be a part of the Indian white-ball squads.