Sanju Samson has been added to the team India’s T20I squad for the West Indies tour as a replacement for KL Rahul. The wicketkeeper batter was a part of the recently concluded three-match ODI series of the tour but was not a part of the T20I squad earlier.
Rahul was included in the T20I squad but his playing in the series was subject to his fitness level. The right-handed batter has not been seen in action since the Indian T20 league. He sustained a groin injury just before the T20I series against South Africa in June and travelled to Germany for his surgery. After the successful surgery, the 30-year-old returned to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and began his rehabilitation programme.
The batter had an excellent recovery and was all set to return to the team for the T20I series but much to his dismay, he got tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month which prevented him from travelling to the Caribbean. Rahul did finish his time in isolation, but according to the BCCI’s medical staff, he should take another week off to relax and recover.
Samson was added as the replacement for Rahul on Friday by the Indian Cricket Board. The Kerala batsman will be eager to grab the opportunity and go big in the match today. He scored a magnificent 77 off 42 balls in his last outing for team India in the T20I format against Ireland in June. The batter also scored a brilliant half-century in the second ODI of the recent series against West Indies.
Samson has played 14 T20Is so far scoring 251 runs at an average of 19.31 with a strike rate of 135. His only half-century in the format came in his last match. Even after making his debut in 2015, the batter hasn’t been able to seal his place in the side. The 27-year-old will be raring to go and will be desperate to get some runs under his belt and make a strong case for his selection in the team going forward.
India T20I squad:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Samson getting the opportunity:
After hearing the cries of 8 years old Sanju Samson's fans Bcci has added him in India's T20i squad against West Indies (source – tmb)
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mofaddal_vohra) July 29, 2022
Sanju Samson's comeback will be written in history books ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/1TxqROCa0g
— Anurag (@RightGaps) July 28, 2022
Will Sanju Samson be in the playing XI today? ?
All the best Sanju ?
— Mahi Bishnoi (SanjusamsonFan) (@Sanjusamsonf11) July 29, 2022
— Sabarinath (@Saby2295) July 28, 2022
Good News For Sanju Samson Fans. He Is Added Into T20 Squad. pic.twitter.com/7OmO7ifmIC
— Vaibhav Bhola ?? (@VibhuBhola) July 29, 2022
Really happy for Sanju Samson he has been selected in the T20i Squad against WI he have been great throughout this ODI series with both batting & wicketkeeping that made him place in the T20i Squad.Hope he gets fair chance. Good luck Sanju ???. #SanjuSamson #WIvIND pic.twitter.com/PtSo1Ck32L
— Roshmi ? (@cric_roshmi) July 29, 2022
Really happy for Sanju Samson. He has been added in the India's T20I squad against West Indies. He was not selected for the T20 series but now he has been selected. Hope he gets a lot of opportunity to play in this 5 match T20I series. Good luck Sanju.
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) July 29, 2022
Unreal craze for Sanju Samson, IPL franchises social media team using Sanju pic on playing 11 post to gain more engagement. fanbase ?
— Praneesh (@praneeshppr) July 27, 2022
— CricketCult (@CultCricket) July 29, 2022
— ADARSH J S (@adarshjs151997) July 29, 2022