Hamilton, Nov 27: Team India decided to bench Sanju Samson in the second one-day international against New Zealand on Sunday (November 27) despite the wicketkeeper-batter doing well in the opening one-day international. For the second ODI, India made a couple of tactical changes and strengthened their bowling by including a couple of all-rounders.
As India trailed 0-1 in the three-match series, Samson and Shardul Thakur were rested by the team management in the second game. Off-spin all-rounder Deepak Hooda and fast-bowling all-rounder Deepak Chahar was included in the playing eleven at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Thakur had a forgettable outing in the first ODI as he went for runs. The right-arm pacer picked up a wicket but conceded 63 runs from nine overs. The Mumbaikar also didn't look fit cent per cent. While the decision to rest Thakur could be forced but it was the decision to drop Samson from the playing eleven after giving him just one game irked his fans.
The right-handed batter from Kerala - who scored a crucial 36 off 38 balls batting at number six - steadied the ship for Team India as they lost wickets in quick succession at the back end of the middle overs. It was his 96-run stand with Shreyas Iyer and later the blitz of 37 off 17 balls from Washington Sundar which ensured the Men In Blue post 306 for the loss of seven wickets in 50 overs.
While experts have been suggesting that Samson gets a longer rope in international cricket but the right-handed batter was once again benched in the very next game. The team management's move to drop Samson while Rishabh Pant - who has had a stop-start performance in white-ball cricket - continues to get a spot in the side irked, irked the former's fans. Pant - who is yet to prove his credentials in the limited-overs format - scored 15 off 23 balls in the opening ODI before chopping it onto his stumps.
Here's how Samson's fans reacted:
Who failed in last match:— falling st7r (@i_Falling_Star) November 27, 2022
Left India in tough position at 160-4
Who played sensibly:
Sanju Samson 36(38) with good strike rotation
Who got dropped:
Yes, Sanju Samson
He is also a WK, but quota player will play no matter what#SanjuSamson #INDvsNZ pic.twitter.com/ibaI96CD1L