A day after winning the Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka, BCCI announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming ODIs against Australia, which gets underway from September 22. Two sets of team have been announced for the three-match series, with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav being rested for the first two encounters. However, the four leading figures return for the third and final encounter, following which India will engage in two warm-up fixtures before heading to the World Cup.
The squad comprises more or less the same players that traveled to Sri Lanka for Asia Cup, but the highlight was R Ashwin’s return to the ODI fold after a long gap of 19 months. While there were a few other inclusions too, one name that has not been considered has seemed to create quite a stir among fans on social media.
Sanju Samson was not considered and has been trending on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) since the squad was announced around 8:30 pm on Monday. Not only the fans but ex-India stars also symphatised with the Kerala wicketkeeper-batter.
Reacting to Samson’s snub, ex-India batter Robin Uthappa tweeted: “No one would wanna be in Sanju’s shoes right now!!”
He added: “The justification could be that even if he was in the squad he wouldn’t get a game. But not even being in the squad would be quite disheartening.”
Uthappa is not the only one, who symphatised with Samson. Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan too expressed similar views. “If I’m in place of @IamSanjuSamson right now I will be very disappointed…” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Samson too broke silence on his snub as he shared a photo of him in India colours on Instagram and captioned it: “It is what it is !! I choose to keep moving forward.”
Samson had traveled to Sri Lanka as backup for KL Rahul, who despite being named in the squad was not 100 percent fit. Rahul, however, returned to action in the Super 4 stage after a long injury lay-off and didn’t take long to stamp his authority on the pitch. In his first match, which was against Pakistan, Rahul combined with Kohli to add 233 runs for the third wicket, which is the highest by any pair in the history of Asia Cup.
Both him and Kohli slammed unbeaten tons to help India pile a massive 356/2 in 50 overs, following which the Men In Blue packed Pakistan for 128 in 32 overs. Apart from batting Rahul was equally sharp behind the wickets and will now be seen leading the team in the absence of Rohit for the first two encounters.