Sanju Samson doubtful starter for Pune T20I

by  Vijay Tagore  •  Last updated on Wed, Jan 4, 2023, 

Sanju Samson is a doubtful starter for the second Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Pune on Thursday (January 5). The wicketkeeper batsman has a niggle on his knee and has not travelled with the Indian team to Pune. He has stayed back in Mumbai for scans.

The injury is a result of a diving catch he attempted in the first over of the Sri Lankan chase at the Wankhede in Mumbai on Wednesday. Although he caught the ball he could not hold on to it after falling on the ground. He continued fielding in the match but, it is learnt, he later experienced swelling because of which he was asked to take medical advice.

The catch was off Pathum Nissanka off the bowling of Hardik Pandya, who forced a leading edge from the right-handed opener, off his second legal delivery of the over, which was the very first over of the Sri Lankan innings. Samson was fielding at mid-off.

Sources have indicated that the participation of Samson in the game is doubtful. A lot will depend on the medical team’s assessment of the scans and at the time of writing, a final decision had not been taken by the team management. Samson too had not reached Pune by Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Arshdeep Singh, who missed out on the first match, is available for selection. He was left out of the game due to illness as a result of which Shivam Mavi could get his maiden international cap. Mavi went on to impress one and all by returning a four-wicket haul in the game.

Arshdeep’s availability could cause some selection dilemmas for the team management as the Indian bowlers did well in the game and managed to defend a none too formidable total of 162. However, if India eventually decide to include Arshdeep, the team management may review the place of Harshal Patel who went for two for 41 runs in four overs. The other two pacers – Mavi and Umran Malik — apart from skipper Pandya were far more impressive with their performances.

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