Young wicket-keeper-batsman Sanju Samson has been rewarded for his excellent form in domestic cricket as he has been included in India’s T20I side for their upcoming series against Bangladesh. India are set to play three T20Is in New Delhi (November 3), in Rajkot (November 7), and Nagpur (November 10) and two Test matches in Indore (November 14-18) and in Kolkata (November 22-26) against Bangladesh.
Samson was named in 15-man Indian squad as Virat Kohli was rested while Rohit Sharma was named skipper. Samson last donned the blue of India in 2015 when he played one T20I against Zimbabwe in Harare.
Chief selector MSK Prasad has now revealed reason behind including Samson in the team. With Rishabh Pant being the designated wicket-keeper-batsman in the side, Samson’s inclusion was being seen as a back-up. However, Prasad has now made it clear that this isn’t the case.
“Sanju Samson has been included as a proper batsman, Pant will continue as wicket keeper. Sanju’s problem 3-4 years back was inconsistency. Now he has improved. He had a fantastic A series and wonderful Vijay Hazare. We consider him as a top-order batsman,” Prasad said after announcing the squads for the series against Bangladesh.
Samson recently made his way into the record books by smashing a double century against Goa in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20. Samson smashed an unbeaten 212 off just 129 balls to register the highest individual score in List A cricket by a wicket-keeper batsman. Samson went past Pakistan’s Abid Ali’s record who had scored an unbeaten 208 in Pakistan’s domestic one-day competition in 2018.
Samson’s 212 is also the highest individual score in India’s domestic one-day competition – The Vijay Hazare Trophy – bettering the record of Uttarakhand’s KV Kaushal, who had slammed 202 against Sikkim in the last edition of the tournament.
Samson also became the sixth Indian to register a double hundred in List A cricket after Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma (thrice), Shikhar Dhawan and KV Kaushal. Tendulkar, Sehwag and Rohit are however, the only Indians to hit double tons in ODIs. Shikhar Dhawan’s 248 came in a practice match against South Africa A in 2013.
India T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur