Fans criticise Sanju Samson's exclusion from T20I series vs. England

Indian wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson will not join the national team for the second and third T20I series against England. Samson only participated in the first match of the series on July 7. Cricket fans have since expressed disappointment at the exclusion as Samson showed commendable performance in the past T20I matches.

Samson recorded 77 runs with only 42 deliveries in the second T20I match against Ireland in June. His partnership with teammate Deepak Hooda got them an accumulation of 176 runs. During a warm-up against the Derbyshire team, Samson also scored 38 runs.

Fans took to Twitter to express their frustration over Samson's exclusion from the XI. They said that the Kerala-born athlete never got the chance to prove his ability on the court, unlike some other players on the national team. The management tends to pick Hooda and Ishan Kishan over Samson for important matches.

The 1994-born cricketer made his T20I debut in 2015 during a game against Zimbabwe. In this white-ball category, he has recorded 251 runs with an average of 19.3. His strike rate is currently at 135.7, and his highest ICC ranking in T20I is 143.

Speculations over Samson’s exclusion

Analysts speculated that there were two reasons for his exclusion from the XI. The first is the performance gap he displayed in two warm-up games. When he faced the Derbyshire team, Samson made 38 runs off 30 balls. However, in the second warm-up game against Northamptonshire, he got a golden duck and was removed from the match.

His inconsistency might have caused the management to doubt him. The T20I match is significant to India as the team failed to bring home a win in the previous fifth Test, also against England. The Test ended with a 2-2 draw. The opponent is second in the T20I category in ICC rankings after India. They must win this match to secure the position.

The second possible reason is related to team management. Samson might not be able to play in a full series, and the team did not want to risk picking him over players who could participate fully. Some top players have also returned to the squad for the T20I series, including Rohit Sharma, who just recovered from COVID-19.

India announced that the current team would likely be the one participating in the upcoming T20 World Cup held in Australia in October. Fans are concerned because it means that Samson will not have the chance to showcase his prowess in that significant event.

Other than Samson, some other players also have not gotten the chance to join the XI. Ravi Bishnoi and Umran Malik are among the players who do not make it into the T20I squad. Despite displaying a good performance, the team chose Arshdeep Singh over Malik for the upcoming matches.

Sharma expressed his excitement for this match, saying he was "looking forward to the game". Asked about the change in the team's composition, he simply said "we know the scheduling, we got to have the understanding, players will be swapped every now and then”.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.