Why Sanju Samson is not playing: India have included a couple of debutants for the first ODI at the R Premdasa Stadium.
During the first ODI of the ongoing India’s tour of Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka has won the toss and chose to bat in his first ODI as a captain.
“We are going to bat first. History suggests batting first is ideal here [R Premdasa Stadium]. We have a debutant, it’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa,” Shanaka was quoted as saying during the toss.
Sri Lanka, who haven’t won a bilateral ODI series against India since 1997, have a huge challenge lying in front of them in the form of this three-match series.
Why Sanju Samson is not playing 1st ODI vs Sri Lanka?
India captain Shikhar Dhawan, who is leading India for the first time at the highest level, also wanted to bat first but it won’t be the case now. Expected to hand at least a couple of debuts, India have included the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan for the first ODI. It is worth mentioning that Yadav and Kishan had made their T20I debut in the same match earlier this year.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) July 18, 2021
“We were also looking to bat first as dew factor will come into play. [Prithvi] Shaw will open along with me. [Ishan] Kishan and Suryakumar [Yadav] will make their debuts. Kuldeep [Yadav] and [Yuzvendra] Chahal are the two spinners playing for us,” Dhawan was quoted as saying during the toss.
In addition to vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India have included Deepak Chahar as the second specialist pacer ahead of Navdeep Saini and Chetan Sakariya.
Is Sanju Samson injured?
Kishan’s inclusion means that another wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson will have to further wait for his ODI debut. Being a left-handed batsman, the same should have ideally worked in Kishan’s favour in addition to his better List A average and strike rate than Samson. Having said that, Samson has missed out on selection in this match due to an injury.
“Sanju Samson sprained a ligament in his knee and hence was not available for selection for this game,” read an official statement from the BCCI.