Sanju Samson sidelined by BCCI again, Irfan Pathan takes a stand, ‘If I was him…’

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the players for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia. Conspicuously missing from the list is wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson, despite key players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav being rested for the first two games.

The announcement came after India’s recent Asia Cup victory and was met with disappointment from former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan. Pathan expressed that if he were in Samson’s shoes, the omission would be disheartening.

The squads for the Australia series have been selected by a Rahul Dravid-coached panel and feature two separate line-ups. Young talents like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Prasidh Krishna and Washington Sundar have earned recalls for the initial two ODIs.

KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan have been picked as the primary wicketkeeping options, sidelining Samson, who had been earlier named as a backup in the Asia Cup squad.

Sanju Samson, meanwhile, left an interesting post on Facebook that grabbed his fans’ attention.

View Full Image

Sanju Samson’s Facebook post

Further intriguing is the return of veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who was last seen in ODIs in 2022. He comes back into the ODI setup after recovering from a hamstring injury, filling in for the injured Axar Patel.

Choosing Ashwin

Rohit Sharma mentioned the significance of Ashwin’s vast experience. The Indian captain said that a player like Ashwin, with nearly 100 Test matches and 115 ODIs under his belt, does not require constant game time to stay relevant. His inclusion is aimed at assessing the cricketer’s current form and fitness levels.

“With the kind of experience he has, for guys like him, it’s all in the head more than the body. I thought getting him in could give us a chance to understand where he is at, how his body is and stuff like that,” he said.

Meanwhile, other key players like Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, and Shubman Gill have retained their spots in the ODI line-up. Tilak Varma is a new addition for the first two matches against Australia.

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Updated: 19 Sep 2023, 02:47 PM IST

 

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