Why Sanju Samson didn’t play in 1st ODI against Sri Lanka?

The 26-year-old was expected to make his ODI debut on Sunday.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 19 July 2021 2:20 pm

After a long wait, the first ODI between Sri Lanka and India finally kicked off on Sunday at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. There were a lot of speculations ahead of the contest regarding the playing XI that Men in Blue will opt for in the series opener. With Virat Kohli and Co. currently in England, a lot of young and exciting players have been included in India's squad, making the playing XI selection quite interesting.

Ahead of the toss, the big news was revealed as Mumbai Indians' duo of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan were handed their ODI caps. While the selection of SKY was expected as captain Shikhar Dhawan had hinted in the pre-match press conference, a few eyebrows were raised to see Ishan Kishan getting the nod ahead of Sanju Samson for the wicketkeeper slot.

Sanju Samson wasn't available for selection

The RR captain has played 7 T20Is for India, scoring 83 runs at a disappointing average of 11.8. However, Sanju Samson showed a lot of maturity and class in the first half of IPL 2021 and was rewarded with a call-up to the Indian squad for Sri Lanka tour. With head coach Rahul Dravid also a big fan of Samson's talent, he was expected to make his ODI debut in the first match on Sunday.

It has now been revealed that Sanju Samson was not available for selection for the 1st ODI. An update from BCCI stated, "Sanju Samson sprained a ligament in his knee and was hence not available for selection (if needed) in this game. The medical team is tracking his progress at the moment."

Would Samson have played if he was fit?

It would have been quite interesting to see if Samson would have been selected ahead of Ishan Kishan if he was fit and available for the game. It seems like that the management had not made a decision and it was Samson's injury that made the selection of Kishan a straightforward one for India.

Both the players are currently in contention to grab that backup wicketkeeper slot for the 2021 T20 World Cup. This is why both Kishan and Samson will get their chances during the tour and they will be hoping to make the best out of the limited opportunities they get to impress everyone.