The omission of Sanju Samson from the Indian World Cup squad, despite his impressive ODI record, has ignited a passionate debate among cricket enthusiasts. Some criticize the management’s decision, while others support it. Former Indian off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh, shared his insights on this contentious issue.
Harbhajan Singh believes that the Indian management left out Sanju Samson primarily because the team already possessed talented wicketkeepers in KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, he stated,
“Sanju Samson’s exclusion has raised a lot of debates. If you average 55 in ODIs and still don’t make it into the squad, then that’s definitely strange. But I think Sanju wasn’t selected because India already had two wicketkeepers, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan, both of whom are part of the World Cup squad.”
The veteran off-spinner expressed his preference for KL Rahul over Sanju Samson, with Ishan Kishan also impressing everyone with a mature innings against Pakistan, a pivotal moment in the match where India had lost their top-order early due to Shaheen Afridi’s brilliance. Harbhajan believes that these two players are ahead of Samson in the pecking order.
While acknowledging that it can be disheartening, the legendary Indian spinner encouraged Samson to remain patient and seize his opportunity when it comes.
Even though Samson was not selected for the 3-match ODI series against Australia at home, despite being a World Cup reserve, he remains determined to contribute to the team’s success. He was also not chosen for the Asian Games squad, as the team opted for Ruturaj Gaikwad as the leading opener for the T20I World Cup.
Despite these unexpected decisions, Sanju Samson remains committed to improving and pushing himself to earn a spot in the squad.
The question remains whether the team management will reconsider their decision. The absence of Axar Patel due to injury and uncertainty surrounding Shreyas Iyer’s fitness could potentially create an opportunity for Samson to make it into the World Cup squad.
The final decision is likely to be made after the conclusion of the ODI series against Australia, giving the selectors the best possible clarity to make informed choices.