Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 14:54 IST
Whenever Sanju Samson has encountered a turbulent phase in his career, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has always come forward in his support. After wrapping up the Asia Cup on a winning note, Team India is set to begin their final preparation for the all-important ICC ODI World Cup, starting October 5 in Ahmedabad. Ahead of the blockbuster tournament, the Men in Blue are set to host Australia for a 3-match ODI series.
On September 18, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squads for the three-match series. The selection, however, came as a shock for Pathan, who expected Samson to find a place in the team sheet.
Evidently stunned by Samson’s snub, Pathan shared his reaction on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“If I’m in the place of Sanju Samson right now, I will be very disappointed,” the cricketer-turned-commentator tweeted. The post garnered similar reactions from fans who dropped their opinions in the comment box.
Highlighting Sanju Samson’s batting skills, a fan commented, “Sanju deserves to be in the team ASAP. He is too massive a talent to not have a place in the Indian squad. Time to back such a massive talent.”
Sanju deserves to be in the team asap. He is too massive a talent to be not having a place in the Indian squad. Time to back such a massive talent.— Chatur (Not an Idiot) (@mpbsvs) September 18, 2023
If not for the Australia series, Sanju Samson might have been picked for the Asian Games, where Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead a young unit, another fan predicted.
At least he should have been in the Asian Games team. Yaa, definitely feeling bad for him.— Vishal. (@SPORTYVISHAL) September 18, 2023
A fan took a dig at the selection committee while underlining Sanju Samson’s spectacular numbers in ODI cricket. “Imagine seeing guys with below 25 average playing ahead of you (Samson) when you had an average of 55,” the user wrote.
Imagine seeing guys with below 25 average playing ahead of you when you had an average of 55— Pr𝕏tham (@78thCenturyWhxn) September 18, 2023
Sanju Samson travelled to Sri Lanka for the recently concluded Asia Cup but only got to warm the bench as a reserve player. Tilak Varma, who made his international debut last month in the West Indies, was preferred over Samson. The young batter, however, failed to impress, scoring only 5 runs off 9 balls in the Super 4 game against Bangladesh.
Despite the poor performance, Varma has been called up for the first two ODIs of the Australia series. Besides him, another young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has made the cut. These two youngsters have been added to the team sheet as replacements for Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who will only play the third ODI.
As far as Sanju Samson’s career is concerned, the wicketkeeper-batter last time donned the Indian kit for an ODI game against West Indies last month. Following that, Samson travelled to Ireland, featuring in a T20I series. He has represented India in 13 ODIs so far, having aggregated 390 runs at a remarkable average of 55.71.