Sanju Samson has once again been recalled into the T20I team as he has replaced an injured Shikhar Dhawan for New Zealand series. The left-handed batsman had suffered a shoulder injury during the third ODI against Australia. He was spotted wearing a sling and was in line to be ruled out.
BCCI, in its release, has said that Dhawan will be wearing a sling some time and will start training at NCA in February. The left-handed batsman recently missed West Indies series as well. He had suffered a thigh issue while playing domestic cricket and sat out for all six matches.
Samson was an automatic choice to replace the senior batsman. He had replaced him for West Indies T20Is as well and retained his spot for Sri Lanka T20Is. He had to be dropped for New Zealand tour as regular Rohit Sharma returned for the big series.
Samson, who was first recalled for Bangladesh series in 2019, has just played one game since his return. The wicketkeeper-batsman came in for Rishabh Pant in the third T20I against Sri Lanka and could retain his spot given that the team management is open to giving chances to others.
If KL Rahul opens the innings, Samson might play in middle-order while he could also be promoted to the opening position if Rahul doesn’t come out to open the innings. It will be interesting to see if the team management also hands over the wicketkeeping duties to Rahul in the shortest format as well.
Samson is already in New Zealand and might miss couple of matches for India A to join the national team.
The three-match T20I series kicks off on January 24, with Eden Park hosting first two matches. The next three T20Is will be played in Hamilton (January 29), Wellington (January 31) and Mount Maunganui (February 2). The two teams also play three ODIs and two Tests following the T20Is.