As rightly said by Hardik Pandya during the T20 internationals against New Zealand, Sanju Samson is an 'unfortunate case' as he kept missing matches despite putting up decent performances in his limited chances .
The wicketkeeper batter missed the entire three-match T20I series, but in the first ODI, he stitched an impressive 94-run stand with Shreyas Iyer that powered India to a competitive total of 306. Samson scored 38 off 36 deliveries, but the Men in Blue eventually lost the game as Kane Williamson and Tom Latham played superb knocks.
As India's bowling was exposed in the first match of the series, team management felt the need for extra bowlers, which led to Sanju Samson getting dropped from the 2nd ODI.
After the match was called off, Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan spoke about the reason behind leaving Sanju Samson out of the squad. The prolific opener revealed the 'need for an extra bowling option' was the main reason behind the decision.
"We wanted the sixth bowler to come in, so Sanju Samson missed out, and Hooda came in. Furthermore, Chahar was picked because he could swing the ball well. A few of our guys are resting, but this side is still strong; it shows the depth of our squad," Dhawan said. The veteran batter further heaped praise on his opening partner Shubhman Gill who played yet another impressive knock but was denied a half-century due to rain interruption.
"It was good to bat on and to see Shubhman perform this way was very encouraging. This is a good opportunity for the guys travelling so far to see how Shubhman has batted and Umran's bowling; glad to see that transition. As a team, we want to get our process right and perform well in Christchurch. Hopefully, we can win and enjoy ourselves," he concluded.
Both teams will move to Christchurch for the third and final ODI, scheduled to be played on Wednesday. The encounter remains a do-or-die game for India as the hosts lead the series 1-0.