When the 18-man squad for the 5-match T20I series against the West Indies was announced at the end of July, the omission of Sanju Samson sparked a heated debate on social media. When he got a chance to play against Ireland, the player proved that he deserved a place in the team by scoring 77 runs off 42 balls.
The star, who made his debut against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2015, was allowed to play only 14 T20Is and 1 ODI in 7 years. Sanju was not given a chance to play XI despite often being included in the squad, and this neglect of Sanju is ironic at a time when many other out-of-form players are getting a chance to play consistently.
Many prominent players and commentators have criticized removing a star who selflessly plays in any position required by the team. Cricket fans are outraged that he was included in the squad for the first Twenty20 match against England in the absence of senior players when he played well against Ireland but was not given a chance in the playing eleven.
Rahul Tripathi is another star who has been neglected, just like Sanju, who is constantly denying their chances for anyone else. With the T20 World Cup on the brink, Sanju’s exclusion from the limited over format again is a blow to the player’s World Cup dreams.
Recently, India’s former coach and player Ravi Shastri said Sanju could play better than other players on the pace and bounce pitch in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia. Sanju will be able to shine more than Shreyas Iyer, who is constantly losing short pitch balls on the big Australian ground.
It is high time that the professional method followed by Australia and England teams, where any big player is dropped from the team if he loses form and can return to the team after proving his form by playing in domestic matches, it is high time that Indian cricket should also follow this professional method. Many talented players are waiting for an opportunity outside; even if they play in bad form, only a few keep getting many opportunities.
Meanwhile, Sanju’s only consolation is that he was included in the squad for the 3-match ODI series against the West Indies, but it remains to be seen whether he was included in the squad to sit in the dressing room without giving him a chance in the playing eleven.