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'I think this hundred is going to...' - Sunil Gavaskar's massive verdict on Sanju Samson after his century under pressure leads India to famous series win

Samson has not been a consistent figure in the national team despite winning applause from all and doing decently in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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Mathew K
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Sunil Gavaskar & Sanju Samson (Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar & Sanju Samson (Source: Twitter)

India secured a famous series win against South Africa in Paarl on Thursday. Sanju Samson with the bat and Arshdeep Singh with the bowl were the heroes of the night. Promoted to bat at the No.3 position, Samson scored his maiden international century, leading India to a massive 78-run victory at Boland Park. Contrary to his usual explosive style, the Kerala-born cricketer played sensibly to bring up the "career-changing" hundred, which earned praise from India legend Sunil Gavaskar. 

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After being put into bat first, the Men in Blue looked to be in trouble at 101/3 when skipper KL Rahul was dismissed. But Samson held his nerve and stitched a crucial 116 partnership with young Tilak Varma. The right-hander's match-winning 108 off 114 took India to 296/8 - their fourth-highest total against the Proteas in the 50-over format. 

“The standout for me from this innings was his shot selection. In the past, he has gotten out despite getting starts. Today, you couldn't fault him at all, he was biding his time, waiting for the bad ball, and then getting a hundred. I think this hundred is going to change his career. One, he will get more opportunities because of this hundred,” the former India opener told Star Sports.

Gavaskar feels this century will make Sanju believe in himself 

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Samson has not been a consistent figure in the national team despite winning applause from all and doing decently in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He is currently one of the finest hitters in the Indian cricket team, but Thursday's knock proved that he can play according to the situation as it was a tricky surface to bat on.

The Rajasthan Royals skipper made his India debut against Zimbabwe back in 2015. However, has only played 15 ODIs and 24 T20Is for India. He was KL Rahul's back-up in the 2023 Asia Cup and eventually failed to find a spot in the World Cup squad. The 29-year-old has now managed to silence his critics, and as Gavaskar said, a much-needed boost for himself. 

"Secondly, I think he will also start to believe in himself more that he belongs to this level. Sometimes you know you are there, but the luck is not with you and things like that. You get a tremendous delivery, and a great catch, all these things can make you doubt whether you actually belong there. This century will make him believe he belongs here. He has always belonged here, mind you. We all know the talent he has. But somehow he had not delivered, but today he delivered not just for everybody but for himself as well," Gavaskar added.

Sunil Gavaskar featured Sanju Samson India