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India’s omission of Chahal, Samson raise eyebrows


Not even 48 hours since Pat Cummins and company lifted the World Cup for the sixth time ever after India reached the final in Ahmedabad, we are already turning our attention to another meeting between the for his part.

Less than a week after suffering yet another heartbreak in an ICC event, Team India will host Australia in a five-match T20I series starting Thursday in Visakhapatnam.

Australia had announced their squad for the series well in advance on 28 October. India, on the other hand, took their sweet time and made it official on Monday evening, less than three days before the two sides face off at the ACA-VDCA Stadium.

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The difference between the two sides, however, is that while the Matthew Wade-led squad will include a number of World Cup winners, India have decided to rest the majority of their senior players and invited He was tasked with middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav. captained the side.

Surya was recently promoted to vice-captain after a consistent run and that responsibility will fall on him or Ruturaj Gaikwad with hardik Pandya, who has been India’s unofficial T20I skipper since the T20 World Cup ended last year. , nursing ankle injury.

The squad was expected to comprise mostly players who are regarded as T20I specialists or those who are on the fringes of selection after impressing on the domestic circuit or in India Prisons, and even in the recent Asian Games.

The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee would be reluctant to include too many players from the eventful World Cup campaign, with SKY and batsman Ishan Kishan the only two present in the tournament, the first of which has played seven games including. the last.

However, there were a few notable omissions from the Indian squad for the series that raised many eyebrows.

The end of the road for Yuzi?

Two big names are missing from India’s squad for the Australia T20I – leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson.

Neither player was included in the World Cup squad, with Chahal’s absence from the mega event being seen by some as a major snub, with the fact that neither player will feature in the upcoming series despite not They represent India since August.

The two senior players were offered a handful of chances this year; Samson was part of the tour of the Caribbean and the United States where he played both ODIs as well as the T20Is. Chahal was part of that tour, but his appearances were limited to the T20I series, which India lost 2-3.

Samson was also part of the tour of Ireland, where pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna had returned to action after long injury spells and the Men in Blue won the three-match series 2-0. Chahal, meanwhile, was part of the domestic pre-season of the Indian Premier League, playing both T20Is and ODIs against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Sanju Samson hit two fours and four sixes during his 41-ball 51 in the third ODI against the West Indies in Tarouba on Tuesday, August 1. AP

Neither player, however, had set the stage on fire with their performances like Mohammed Shami did with his five-wicket haul against New Zealand in the World Cup group match in Dharamsala. With the amount of pressure these two are under and the scrutiny that comes on their performances, a Shami-like performance would be all they would need to silence their critics and stay in contention for this year’s T20 World Cup next.

Samson’s inclusion may have been a little more difficult for the selectors as there are already three keepers in the squad – Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Jitesh Sharma. Gaikwad, who led India to a gold medal at the opening of the Asian games in Hangzhou a little over a month ago, has been named as SKY’s representative and is expected to take charge in his place for a few matches. And Jitesh’s brilliant performance in this year’s IPL for Punjab Kings will have impressed the selectors enough that he should run further with the gloves.

Samson has had his moments with the bat this year, notably his 41-ball 51 in an ODI against the West Indies and his 29-ball 40 against Ireland in the second T20I. As with Samson over the years, he has been a giant in the IPL as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals but has not achieved that level of consistency when it comes to wearing the blue jersey. And with the sudden abundance of keeper-batters, it was always going to get difficult to get picked.

But what about Chahal though? India have named three front-line spin options in off-spinner Washington Sundar, orthodox left-arm spinner Axar Patel and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, only one of whom is a spinner. The competition for a slot for Chahal is not as fierce as it is for Samson, and he was in direct competition with Bishnoi for a place in this squad.

Agarkar and Co have gone with the 23-year-old, and he wants to know if the powers that be have one eye on the future and have decided to move on from an individual who was at one point indispensable and part of the famous reputation ‘Kul-. No spin pairing.

Chahal had a couple of decent outings against New Zealand, including a 2-1-4-2 win in the Lucknow T20I. He was also impressive in the first two matches of the T20I series against the West Indies, picking up 2/24 and 2/19 respectively, the latter with an economy of under 7.

Like Samson, Chahal could not build on those performances in the rest of the series, picking up one more wicket in the next three outings and finishing with an average and economy of 32.60 and 9.05. For an individual fighting for his place in the Indian team, those numbers are devastating.

Chahal has been recapturing some of that form in the domestic circuits, picking up nine wickets in his two matches for Kent in the County Championship and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Championship, where the Haryana bowler picked up 11 wickets at 12.09 in seven outings. . The numbers, however, were not extraordinary enough to impress the selectors.

Chahal responded to the snub with a cryptic post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that contained only a smiley face emoji. He had something similar in his post after being left out of the World Cup squad.

Like Kane Williamson, who now has a habit of reacting to heartbreak with a smile on his face, the spinner has little choice but to carry on and put the chin on the chin. His chances of getting on the flight to the Caribbean next year are now slim. But with a string of consistent performances over the coming months and making the most of whatever opportunities arise, he could pull it off and bury this disappointment.

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