Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan has shared his empathetic response to Sanju Samson’s exclusion from the ODI series squad against Australia, expressing how he would feel deeply disappointed if he were in Samson’s shoes.
India recently unveiled a 17-member squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia, leading up to the World Cup. Notably, star players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav will not be part of the first two matches.
In reaction to the squad announcement, Irfan Pathan took to X (formerly Twitter) and posted: “If I’m in place of @IamSanjuSamson right now, I will be very disappointed…”
Surprisingly, Tilak Varma and Ruturaj Gaikwad were preferred over Samson in the squad. Tilak Varma, who recently made his ODI debut, scored only five runs in a Super 4 game of the Asia Cup 2023 against Bangladesh. Ruturaj Gaikwad, on the other hand, is set to lead the second-string Indian side in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China later this month.
Sanju Samson, who had already been left out of the World Cup squad, was named as a reserve for the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023.
The 28-year-old Samson has played 13 ODIs, amassing 390 runs at an impressive average of 55.71, including three half-centuries. In his last ODI against the West Indies, he scored a brisk 51 off 41 balls.
Samson has showcased his versatility as a batsman in the Indian team but has struggled to secure a consistent spot in the lineup.
India’s ODI squad for the first two matches against Australia
KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar.
Squad for the third ODI against Australia
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness assessment), Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar.