Sanju Samson has found himself out of the Indian ODI team despite impressive performances, leaving many surprised and questioning the team’s selection choices. With Rishabh Pant unavailable and KL Rahul recovering from an injury, Ishan Kishan seems to be the preferred option for the wicketkeeper-batsman role.
Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer believed that Ishan Kishan was being looked at as a backup opener and wicketkeeper, while Samson would slot into the middle order. However, the team management opted for a different approach in the first ODI against the West Indies, with Ishan opening alongside Shubman Gill, and Rohit Sharma coming in at No.7 to give the white-ball specialists more game time ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
Jaffer expressed surprise at the decision, considering Samson’s exceptional record in ODIs, where he boasts an average of 66 and an impressive strike rate of 104.76 after playing 11 matches.
As per the quotes in News18, Wasim Jaffer said, “I am a little surprised not seeing Sanju there, and I’m surprised at not seeing Axar Patel there, because I thought when Ravindra Jadeja wasn’t available, he was really brilliant, with ball and bat. I feel going forward, India need to think about playing three spinners, because Jadeja and Axar can bat at 7 and 8, so I’m a little surprised, but I expected this.”
Samson has an excellent record in ODIs, averaging 66 after 11 matches. He is a destructive batsman who can score runs quickly, and he would be a valuable asset in the middle order. It is unclear why he has been overlooked for so long, but Jaffer’s comments suggest that he should be given a chance soon.
The former cricketer also questioned the team’s plan for the third opener position, wondering if it would be filled by Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been selected for the Asian Games. He called for more clarity on this front.
Additionally, Wasim Jaffer advocated for giving Axar Patel more opportunities in the team, especially in the context of playing three spinners. With Ravindra Jadeja and Axar being capable batsmen as well, Jaffer believed it would strengthen India’s batting lineup while also adding depth to the bowling attack.
Despite the surprises in the team selection, Jaffer acknowledged that it was something he had anticipated, but he still felt that players like Samson and Axar deserved more opportunities to showcase their talent on the international stage.