Off The Field

‘Sanju Samson World Cup exclusion raised lot of questions’ – Harbhajan Singh

Written by Abhishek Patil

The omission of Sanju Samson from the World Cup squad to that of just a reserve despite his stellar ODI record is one that has sparked a lot of controversy. Some were critical of the management while others were supportive of the decision taken. Former Indian off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh shared a few thoughts on the whole debate.

Harbhajan believes that the Indian management did not select Samson simply because the team already had the likes of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan who could do the job.

He spoke in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, he said, “Sanju Samson’s exclusion has raised a lot of debates. If you average 55 in ODIs and still don’t be a part of the squad, then definitely that’s strange. But I think Sanju wasn’t selected because India already had two wicketkeepers, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. Both are also a part of the World Cup squad.”

The veteran off-spinner also suggested that he preferred someone like KL Rahul over Sanju Samson and with Kishan impressing everyone with a mature knock against Pakistan at an important stage of the game where India had lost the top-order for nothing thanks to the brilliance of Shaheen Afridi. He believes that the two will be ahead of Samson.

He also added that while it is possible to get disheartened the legendary Indian spinner, urged to him wait for his time to come and perform when it does appear in front of him.

Sanju has not been selected for the 3-match ODI series against Australia at home as well despite being a World Cup reserve. He also was not selected for the Asian Games squad as the side opted to prefer Ruturaj Gaikwad for the leading role for the T20 World Cup.

Despite the many surprising decisions, Samson will continue to go forward and push the team even harder for a better section.

But will the team management budge from their decision as the loss of Axar Patel and the uncertainty looming around Shreyas Iyer’s fitness could give room to Sanju to make it to the World Cup squad? It is likely that a decision will only be made once the ODI series against Australia has concluded so the selectors can have the best clarity to make the most appropriate decisions.

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Abhishek Patil