Though Sanju Samson wasn’t chosen for the opening match of the series against West Indies, Suryakumar Yadav made it to the squad as a fielder. India surprised everyone by selecting Ishan Kishan over Samson for the first ODI in Bridgetown, Kensington Oval, Barbados.
In the batting order, Kishan was ahead of Samson, but the fact remains that he usually bats in the top order, a spot already occupied by Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in this series, leaving Sanju Samson vying for a middle-order spot, and he was placed there. However, the Indian team management opted to go with Kishan, perhaps due to the advantage of having a left-handed batsman.
In the first ODI against West Indies, Suryakumar Yadav took the field wearing Sanju Samson jersey.
According to the team sheet shared by the BCCI, Kishan was listed to bat at number 4, followed by Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav. It will be interesting to see how Kishan performs at number 4, as he has only batted between positions 4 and 7 in his ODI career so far.
Sanju Samson, on the other hand, might be feeling disappointed. He is out of the limited-overs team due to injury, but before that, he had put up some impressive performances.
Though Sanju Samson was not selected for the ODI series as a specialist batsman, Suryakumar Yadav made it as a fielder. During the first over of the match bowled by Hardik Pandya, SKY was seen fielding wearing Samson’s jersey, which caught the attention of the fans as cameras zoomed in on him. As soon as the screenshots of SKY fielding in Samson’s jersey went viral, netizens took immediate notice.
During the first ODI between India and West Indies, Suryakumar Yadav was seen wearing Sanju Samson jersey, causing a Twitter uproar.
This series is crucial for Suryakumar, who hasn’t been able to translate his T20I form into the 50-over format yet. With KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer also in contention for the Asia Cup selection, these three ODIs will be a final opportunity for SKY to present his case for the middle-order slot in the Indian team.
Looking at the team sheet, it seems he has been given a new role. Instead of batting at number 4, he has been assigned the role of a finisher and asked to bat at number 6.
Meanwhile, Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bat against West Indies. Due to an injury concern, Mohammed Siraj was left out of the team, and young fast bowler Mukesk Kumar was given his debut. After winning the Test series 1-0, the hosts are preparing for hosting the ICC World Cup in over two months.
In contrast, the hosts are nursing deep wounds as they failed to qualify for the prestigious Shopee event, the first-ever World Cup qualifier.
Both sides have set their stakes on playing two specialist spinners in each 11 to support their fast bowlers, depending on the pitch conditions.
India has won the previous eight ODI matches against West Indies, although a year ago, the Caribbean team gave them a tough fight in the same series’ opening match.