Sanju Samson will get another much-deserved chance to prove himself in international cricket after being added to the T20I squad for the upcoming series against West Indies. The BCCI, on Wednesday, confirmed that the right-handed batsman has replaced injured Shikhar Dhawan in the T20I squad for the three-match series. Dhawan had injured his knee while playing for Delhi against Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Sanju Samson was a surprising omission from the original squad for the series. He was a part of the three-match series against Bangladesh. And although he did not get to play a single game, the selectors had to drop him in order to make room for captain Virat Kohli who was rested for the Bangladesh assignment. Unsurprisingly, the selectors were facing heavy criticism for dropping Samson.
The Kerala star would be looking to make the most of the chances in the series if he gets the opportunity. He will be competing with Manish Pandey for a spot in the playing eleven. Pandey is presently ahead of Samson in the pecking order but the team-management can try him out against West Indies as they look to zero in on their best combination for next year’s T20 World Cup.
Samson, meanwhile, is not new to playing for India. He had earned his maiden call-up way back in 2014 during the tour of England and had made his debut the following year during the Zimbabwe tour. He played one T20I on that tour and was dropped soon. The right-hander had to wait for four more years to get a recall from the national side.
Rahul to open innings:
With Dhawan out of the series, KL Rahul will open the innings along with Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli will come at number 3 and will be followed by Shreyas Iyer. One can’t see any other player opening the innings other than Rahul. As far as the number five slot is concerned, the team-management will have to pick one between Pandey and Samson.
India’s squad for the T20I series:
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sanju Samson