Sanju Samson scored his first international century, hitting an impressive 108 runs off 114 balls against South Africa in India’s second ODI at Paarl’s Boland Park. He took charge of the Indian innings, entering at No.3 in the fifth over and getting out only in the 46th over, leading India to a victory by 78 runs.

This century showcased Samson’s talent and highlighted the impact of playing at his preferred position. As a Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman, he has often been placed in the lower order in international cricket.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar believes that while Samson might not be a top pick for the 2024 T20 World Cup, his century positions him as a potential choice for India’s primary ODI squad in the future.

Sanju Samson has shown maturity at the international level despite his experience in first-class cricket for many years. This ODI series might fade from memory, but his remarkable batting – entering in the fourth over and reaching his century in the 44th over – is what people wanted to see from him,” commented Manjrekar on ESPNCricinfo.

Manjrekar thinks that although future cricket events might overshadow this series, the team management and selectors will remember Samson’s performance. With the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy as the next major 50-over competition, Manjrekar believes that Samson’s innings have placed him in contention for future 50-over squads.

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So, what Samson achieved in this innings won’t be forgotten. Whenever there’s a need for a 50-over side, he’ll be a strong contender,” added Manjrekar.