Sri Lanka vs India: Reason why Sanju Samson is not playing first ODI

Sri Lanka vs India: Reason why Sanju Samson is not playing first ODI

Ishan Kishan made his ODI debut instead on his 23rd birthday.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The three-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and India commenced on Sunday (July 18). With India’s second-string team playing, a lot of eyes were on the visitors’ playing XI. Interestingly, the Shikhar Dhawan-led side preferred wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan ahead of Sanju Samson behind the wickets which surprised many. Samson looked set to start given his experience.

However, the Kerala batsman unfortunately sustained an injury and was not available for selection in the series opener. BCCI confirmed the news while stating that Samson sprained a ligament in his knee which paved the way for Ishan Kishan’s ODI debut on his 23rd birthday.

This is a great opportunity for the left-hander who made his T20I debut earlier this year against England and slammed an impressive half-century opening the innings. With the T20 World Cup set to be played in the UAE in October-November, Kishan will be keen on making this chance count.

Suryakumar Yadav also made his debut

India fielded another debutant in Suryakumar Yadav in the first ODI against Sri Lanka which wasn’t much of a surprise given the way he has been batting over the last couple of years. Surya has been the trending name in domestic cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the time has come for him to showcase his talent at the international level.

Meanwhile, one has to feel for Sanju Samson who would’ve definitely played as a wicketkeeper ahead of Kishan if he had been fit. Samson has had to wait a lot for his chances to come in the shortest format of the game and the Sri Lanka tour would’ve been a great chance for him to seal his place in the side. But he will have to wait for his chance yet again and most importantly, hope that he recovers from injury soon.

As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, even they handed an ODI debut to Bhanuka Rajapaksa who is expected to bat at three. After the all off-field turmoil they have gone through, it will be interesting to see how they perform in this series.