India skipper Shikhar Dhawan was questioned about the team’s decision to make two changes to their playing XI after the second ODI was called off due to rain.
Despite a solid performance in the first ODI of the series on Friday in Auckland, Sanju Samson was dropped from the playing XI for the second game. Fans on Twitter were furious at skipper Shikhar Dhawan and head coach VVS Laxman’s decision to replace him with Deepak Hooda.
When Team India was called to bat first in the match, the rain started to fall in the fifth over. When play resumed over three hours later, the game was shortened to 29 overs for each side.
The play had to be cancelled due to inclement weather, which again played spoilsport. India made two changes to their starting XI for the second ODI, replacing Sanju Samson and Shardul Thakur with Deepak Hooda and Deepak Chahar.
Dhawan disclosed the rationale for dropping Samson at the end of the second game, which was called off due to rain after only 12.5 overs.
“We wanted the sixth bowler to come in, so Sanju Samson missed out and Hooda came in. And Chahar was picked because he can swing the ball really well, and in both directions,” said Dhawan.
Unfortunately, Samson won’t play in the third and final game of the series if India follows through with their plan for the third ODI.
“I was quite surprised with the surface”: Shikhar Dhawan
Speaking about the game which was called off due to rain, Shikhar Dhawan said, ” Not in our control, you just have to wait. We were waiting to get the game started, can’t help it. Now looking forward to the 3rd game”
“I was quite surprised with the surface, I thought it would be seaming quite a bit, but it wasn’t as much as the last match. It was good to bat on and to see Shubman perform this way was very encouraging,” Shikhar Dhawan said.
“A few of our guys are resting but this side is still strong, shows the depth of our squad,” he added.
Talking about leading Team India, Shikhar Dhawan said: “Damn exciting, makes me feel so young (laughs). No, but seriously this is a good opportunity for the guys traveling so far, to see the way Shubman has batted and Umran’s bowling, glad to see that transition. As a team, we want to get our processes right, and put on a good performance in Christchurch. Hopefully, we can win and enjoy ourselves.”
India and New Zealand will square off in the third and final ODI on Wednesday in Christchurch. New Zealand currently leads the series 1-0.