Despite the victory in the 1st ODI of the West Indies tour, Wasim Jaffer opens on Samson’s exclusion from the playing 11.
Wasim Jaffer on Sanju Samson’s exclusion in 1st ODI
India registered a comfortable victory over West Indies in Thursday’s 1st ODI of the three-match series. On bowling first, the visitors bundled out West Indies for 114 after Kuldeep Yadav took four wickets and Ravindra Jadeja also took 3 wickets.
Ishan Kishan smashed 52 off 46 balls as Team India completed their innings in 22.5 overs. But the idea of exclusion of Sanju Samson from the playing 11 on the 1st ODI of West Indies tour 2023 by team management was criticized.
“I thought they’re looking at Ishan Kishan as a backup opener, as well as obviously the backup keeper, and then Sanju probably would bat in the middle order. I thought he’ll get an opportunity first, so that’s surprising,” said Jaffer.
The former cricketer also questioned the team’s plan for the third opener position, wondering if it would be filled by Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been selected for the Asian Games. He called for more clarity on this front.
“Who is that third opener? Probably Ruturaj Gaikwad but I don’t know who, because Ruturaj has been picked in the Asian Games. Again, I don’t know who that third opener is,” he added.
Rohit Sharma decided on himself to be batting in the middle order and sent Ishan Kishan to open with Shubman Gill.
“I am a little surprised not seeing Sanju there, and I’m surprised at not seeing Axar Patel there, because I thought when Ravindra Jadeja wasn’t available, he was really brilliant, with ball and bat.
I feel going forward, India need to think about playing three spinners, because Jadeja and Axar can bat at 7 and 8, so I’m a little surprised, but I expected this,” said Jaffer.
Wasim Jaffer believed that Ishan Kishan was being looked at as a backup opener and wicketkeeper, while Samson would slot into the middle order.
However, the team management opted for a different approach in the first ODI against the West Indies, with Ishan opening alongside Shubman Gill, and Rohit Sharma coming in at No.7 to give the white-ball specialists more game time ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
Jaffer expressed surprise at the decision, considering Samson’s exceptional record in ODIs, where he boasts an average of 66 and an impressive strike rate of 104.76 after playing 11 matches.
Samson has an excellent record in ODIs, averaging 66 after 11 matches. He is a destructive batsman who can score runs quickly, and he would be a valuable asset in the middle order.
It is unclear why he has been overlooked for so long, but Jaffer’s comments suggest that he should be given a chance soon. Wasim Jaffer advocated for giving Axar Patel more opportunities in the team, especially in the context of playing three spinners.
With Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel being capable batsmen as well, Jaffer believed it would strengthen India’s batting lineup while adding depth to the bowling attack.