Samson evokes memories of Jayawardene every time he plays those shots that are so beautiful to watch. (IPL)
Dubai - Now that Dhoni has left the international stage, India perhaps would not find a better wicketkeeper-batsman than Samson
Following two match-winning knocks replete with imperious strokes, the noise for Sanju Samson's inclusion in the Indian team has reached a crescendo.
Samson's majestic knocks of 74 and 85, his first back-to-back IPL half centuries in 91 innings, have made such an impact that even Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan captain, has now appealed to India's national selectors to get this gifted Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman back in Virat Kohli's team.
"If there's one player who could hit sixes as effortlessly as Rohit Sharma, it's Sanju Samson," a mesmerized Ramiz said on his YouTube channel on Sunday night, moments after Samson's sublime shot-making laid the foundation for an epic run chase at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The 1992 Pakistani World Cup winner believes it will be tragic if Indian cricket continues to ignore the brilliance of a player whose fearless approach and finesse have played a big role in Rajasthan Royals' flying start to their IPL campaign.
"He has come into this IPL with renewed vigour. He looks very fit, which shows that he worked very hard during the lockdown. I think he is very focused on getting back to the Indian team and becoming a superstar," Raja said.
So why hasn't Samson become a regular in the Indian set-up, despite making his debut in 2015?
The first reason for that is, of course, MS Dhoni. When you have an iconic player occupying that wicketkeeper-batsman's position for such a long time, it's hard for anybody to break into the team.
So despite announcing his arrival on the big stage as a precocious teenager in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League, it was impossible for Samson dislodge the former Indian captain.
But now that Dhoni has left the international stage, India perhaps would not find a better wicketkeeper-batsman than Samson.
It makes sense to turn to Samson's serenity especially after Rishabh Pant's capricious style even forced the Indian team management to try KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper batsman.
But Samson has the safer hands behind the stumps and he is in the form of his life as a batsman.
While Raja drew a parallel between Samson and Rohit for their ability to hit sixes with remarkable ease, watching the Royals opener play his shots actually reminds me of a man who is now the head coach of the Mumbai Indians - Mahela Jayawardene.
Samson evokes memories of Jayawardene every time he plays those shots that are so beautiful to watch.
If only the Indian team management decides to back him, the unassuming Samson has what it takes to illuminate the international game, just like the legendary Sri Lankan batsman.