Announcing India’s squad for a series in which superstars Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav won’t feature in the first two games, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCI) still opted to snub wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson as the star batter failed to make a return to the Indian roster for the Australia series. Reacting to India’s squad announcement for the three-match series against Australia, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan issued an interesting statement about power-hitter Samson on Monday.
Samson, who had a series of forgetful outings against the West Indies in the Caribbean, was earlier named as a backup batter in India’s Asia Cup squad. However, Samson was snubbed from India’s squad for the ICC World Cup as the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee handpicked KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan as the two wicketkeeper options for the Men In Blue at the ICC World Cup 2023.
‘If I’m in place of Samson…’
On Monday, India announced its squads for the three-match series Australia series. The Rahul Dravid-coached side picked two separate squads for the Australia series. In both of the squads, Samson’s name went missing as youngsters Ruturaj Gaikwad, Prasidh Krishna and Washington Sundar were recalled for the first two One Day International (ODIs) against Australia. “If I’m in place of @IamSanjuSamson right now I will be very disappointed…,” tweeted ex-cricketer Irfan after India’s squad announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Ashwin seals ODI return before World Cup
While Rahul and Kishan are top contenders to keep wickets for India, star batters Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill have retained their places in the ODI squad. Youngster Tilak Varma is added to India’s squad for the first two ODIs against Australia. Ashwin’s return was the biggest talking point after India’s squad announcement. The senior all-rounder was not a part of India’s 15-member World Cup squad. Ashwin also failed to make India’s Asia Cup. However, Ashwin secured his return to the ODI setup following a hamstring injury to Axar Patel. Spin-bowling all-rounder Ashwin last played an ODI for India in 2022.
India squads for Australia ODIs:
For first two ODIs: KL Rahul (c), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.
For 3rd ODI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.