India wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson finally got his chance as he was included in the playing XI for the third and the final T20I against Sri Lanka in Pune. Apart from Samson, Manish Pandey and Yuzvendra Chahal also walked into the playing XI in place of Shivam Dube and Kuldeep Yadav. But it was Samson’s inclusion which hogged the limelight.
On his comeback, Samson created a record of most matches missed between two T20I appearances for India. Samson, who had played his previous T20I back in 2015, missed 73 T20Is before making a comeback in the playing XI.
Overall, the list is topped by England’s Joe Denly, who missed 79 T20Is between two appearances. Though he is only a member of the Test side now. Liam Plunkett (74 T20Is) and Mahela Udawatte (73 T20Is) are above Samson on the list.
The 25-year-old had come into the limelight back in 2013. He was first selected in the limited-overs team for the tour of England in 2014. Samson was later dropped but made a comeback for the tour of Zimbabwe in 2015.
He finally got a chance to make his debut in the second T20I of the series, where he scored 19 off 24. Samson was again from the national team and only made his comeback for the home T20Is against Bangladesh in 2019. After sitting out for eight T20Is, he was finally included in the playing XI in the third T20I of the series against Sri Lanka.
He will surely be part of the T20I squad for the tour of New Zealand but his inclusion in the playing XI will heavily depend on his performance in the ongoing T20I.
With MS Dhoni still in the scheme of things for T20 World Cup, Rishabh Pant isn’t a confirmed selection in the squad and only one of him and Samson is expected make it to the final squad for the tournament.