IND vs NZ: Angry Fans React After Sanju Samson Was Ignored For 2nd T20I
After a washout of the first T20I in Wellington on Friday, the India-New Zealand T20I series finally kicked off on Sunday with the second T20I at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
New Zealand is almost at their full strength and fielded 10 of the 11 players that played in their lost T20 World Cup semi-final to Pakistan - only Trent Boult, who didn’t pick the contract with the NZC and is not included for this series, is out and was replaced by Adam Milne.
Team India, though, bore a largely different look than what they were in their lost semi-final to England.
Hardik Pandya is leading a second-string unit with a number of seniors rested. This tour of New Zealand, which also comprises 3 ODIs, is an opportunity for the fringe players to make their case to be part of the 2024 T20 WC.
However, the exclusion of one name - Sanju Samson - took everyone by surprise after India’s team sheet was announced following the toss, which Kane Williamson won and elected to field first.
Rishabh Pant and Deepak Hooda play over Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson’s omission from the eleven created a furore and commotion over social media as fans had been expecting the 28-year-old to now be a regular part of the side that the seniors will be rested from the shortest format. But the management went with Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper who opened the innings alongside Ishan Kishan. India also played Deepak Hooda as a lower-order batter while benching Samson
Rishabh Pant managed two single-digit scores during the T20 World Cup 2022 - 3 vs Zimbabwe and 6 vs England - while Hooda was dismissed for a duck vs South Africa in his only match during the tournament. Despite Hooda not being an able lower-order batter, the management, headed by interim coach VVS Laxman on this New Zealand tour, opted for Hooda because he can provide a part-time spin bowling option too instead of Samson, who has had a good year with the Indian team.
In 5 T20I innings in 2022, Sanju Samson has scored 179 runs at an average of 44 and importantly strike rate of 158.
Fans expressed their anger on Twitter after Sanju Samson was not included in the side for the 2nd T20I vs New Zealand:
Even forgetting Samson's IPL performances from the last 2 years, purely based on his 2022 for India, Samson should be playing all matches. Grabbed whatever chances he got in ODIs and T20Is. Don't get this XI at all.#NZvIND— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) November 20, 2022
Pant could score a 100 today but him getting so many games ahead of Samson just doesn't sit right with me. https://t.co/Etfp2JLzJR— Prithvi (@Puneite_) November 20, 2022
Not picking Samson and Umran even in a series where the seniors are not playing and one that has no context is beyond me and sends a very discouraging message, especially to Samson. Most other teams would want a player like them in their XI in this format. #NZvINDonPrime— TheRandomCricketPhotosGuy (@RandomCricketP1) November 20, 2022
No Sanju Samson in the playing X1 for India.— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 20, 2022
We're only 5-10 selection panel sackings away before Samson gets his justice.— Heisenberg ☢ (@internetumpire) November 20, 2022
A little surprised why Samson has been left out from the XI. But I guess the plan seems to be trying Hooda in the middle order because he provides a bowling option. Even if that bowling option is on paper.— Gurkirat Singh Gill (@gurkiratsgill) November 20, 2022
Personally would have preferred Samson in the XI.
Sanju Samson deserved to play over any other WK in the team. If not for his batting, certainly for his Wicket-keeping skills. Much reliable and skilled batter than anyone else in the squad right now and still dropped. I don't understand this!#INDvsNZ#NZvsIND— Himanshu Pareek (@Sports_Himanshu) November 20, 2022
Sanju samson is getting benched, Prithvi Shaw isn't even in squad but some shite players like Pant are getting continuous chances— Pranjal (@Pranjal_one8) November 20, 2022
They aren't winning anything like this... they don't deserve to win anything tbh
Needless to say, Samson should be in the XI too every game.— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) November 20, 2022
Quite puzzled by the squads for this tour and the starting XI now.
Samson still not in India T20s scheme of things is pure politics.— Slog Sweep-189 (@SloggSweep) November 20, 2022