'He's still overlooked for national honours': Hayden's 'serious' T20WC message to Agarkar ahead of squad announcement | Cricket

Sanju Samson was once again among the races while Rajasthan Royals defeated Lucknow Super Giants by seven wickets on Sunday. The RR captain struck an unbeaten match-winning knock as his side reached 199/3 in 19 overs, in their pursuit of 197 runs.

Matthew Hayden had a message for Ajit Agarkar. (Sportzpics – IPL)

The wicketkeeper-batsman made 71* from 33 balls, filled with seven fours and four sixes, and formed an unbeaten partnership with Dhruv Jurel (52*). Hailing the impact of Australian legend Samson Matthew Hayden has sent a stern message to the Indian team selectors ahead of the announcement of the T20 World Cup squad.

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“With Sanju, he always seems to be overlooked for national honors. Honestly, I've been saying that for a decade, I don't know why because he's a serious ball-striker and if you put him in the lead, he does damage .through the phases, tonight it was the perfect shot from the captain and guess what, he finally did it,” said Hayden, speaking on Star Sports.

Samson is now second in the Orange Cap race with 385 runs from nine matches, with a strike rate of 161.08. This season he has bagged four half-centuries but hasn't yet got a ton.

RR are on course to qualify for the IPL 2024 playoffs and have consolidated their position at the top of the table with 16 points from nine matches. This season, they have won eight games and lost only once.

Samson is hoping to make India's T20 World Cup squad, but faces tough competition from Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul for the role of wicketkeeper-batsman. Rahul donned the gloves in the ODI World Cup last year. Meanwhile, Pant was India's regular wicketkeeper before his freak car accident which saw him miss over a year of cricket. Pant made his comeback in IPL 2024.

Rahul and Pant are also in contention for the Orange Cap and are just behind Samson. Rahul is currently third in the rankings, with 378 runs in nine matches. Meanwhile, Pant is fourth with 371 runs in 10 matches.

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