IND vs WI: Sanju Samson Replaces KL Rahul Hours Before T20 Series Opener

In a major development, India batter Sanju Samson has replaced KL Rahul in the T20 squad for the five-match T20I series against West Indies. The Kerala batter was part of the ODI squad where he managed to score a fifty against the host nation in the second ODI match, but wasn’t included in India’s shorter-format squad with the likes of bigwigs like KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant making a comeback.

Nonetheless, in a dramatic move, Samson was included in the T20I squad as KL Rahul had to pull out after he contracted Covid-19 while recovering from sports hernia surgery which took place in Germany last month.

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“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named wicket-keeper batter Sanju Samson as a replacement for KL Rahul in the T20I squad for the ongoing West Indies series. KL Rahul was earlier named in the squad and his participation in the T20I series was subject to fitness. The batter tested positive for COVID-19 last week and has been advised rest by the BCCI medical team,” a BCCI release said.

Sanju Samson was part of the squad in the recently concluded ODI series that the team won 3-0.

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India’s squad for 5 T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav , Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.

A full-strength Indian team in all its might will be looking to overwhelm West Indies in its bid to record a second successive clean sweep in the three-match T20I series starting Friday.

With less than three months left for the T20 World Cup, skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will get around 16 games (5 vs WI, 5 in Asia Cup (if India play final), 3 vs Australia, 3 vs South Africa) to firm up their core team that will then play unchanged going into mega event.

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