Team India opener Shikhar Dhawan returned to action after missing out on the limited-overs series against West Indies owing to injury. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Dhawan slotted back in the opening slot alongside KL Rahul in the first T20I which was a complete washout. Meanwhile, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has voiced his preferred choice in place of Dhawan as the opener for the Sri Lanka series.
The veteran batsman from Delhi received severe criticisms for his below-par outing in the last few series. So much so, it has raised questions about his place in the playing XI with many former cricketers and analyst vouching for Rahul as the opener alongside Rohit Sharma going forward. But the management has shown trust on Shikhar Dhawan fielding him in the first T20I in Guwahati was later abandoned.
Gautam Gambhir backs Sanju Samson as opener
However, Gautam Gambhir, who is working as a commentator in this series, has slammed the management for picking Dhawan as the opener. The cricketer-turned-politician backed young wicket-keeper batsman from Kerala Sanju Samson to open ahead of Shikhar Dhawan. Gambhir argued that Samson has not got any chances despite scoring heavily in domestic matches.
Sanju Samson has been a part of the squad since the Bangladesh series but has not featured in a single game. He has been in stellar form in the ongoing domestic season. After good returns in the limited-overs, Samson is leading Kerala from the front with scores of 116 and 79 runs respectively in the last two innings.
With Rishabh Pant failing to deliver the goods consistently, Sanju Samson can be a perfect replacement. Many former cricketers including Harbhajan Singh and former India head coach Anil Kumble backed Samson to be MS Dhoni’s replacement.