India announced their squad for the ODI series against New Zealand on the 21st of January, 2020 whereas they also named Sanju Samson as Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement for the upcoming T20I series. The left-hander was declared unfit after he injured his left shoulder while fielding against Australia at Bengaluru in the third ODI.
The ODI side remained on expected lines with there being only one change from the squad that featured against Australia. Prithvi Shaw replaced Dhawan, who could make his ODI debut in the series against the Kiwis, which begins on the February 5. Elsewhere, the Men in Blue opted to keep Kedar Jadhav in the touring party, despite the all-rounder not playing a single encounter against Australia.
Additionally, Shivam Dube also kept his place as the pace-bowling all-rounder, owing to the continued injury layoff of Hardik Pandya whereas the potent spin bowling trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal are expected to spearhead the spin department. The pace bowling attack meanwhile comprises of the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.
India ODI Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Kedar Jadhav.
Considering the form and performance of certain players who are banging on the doors of selection into the national side, it is rather unfortunate and unlucky to see some players miss out on getting selected for the ODI squad.
Here we pick three players who were unlucky not to get a chance in the ODIs:
1. Shubman Gill
You must have heard stories of youngster Prithvi Shaw being the next Sachin Tendulkar or of the errant yet talented Rishabh Pant being hailed as the next MS Dhoni, ready to take the world by storm. While there’s absolutely no doubt that these are outrageously talented cricketers, it is appalling that someone equally good or perhaps even better is ignored continuously.
Shubman Gill made experts sit up and notice the class, determination and temperament with which he went about his cricket at the Under-19 World Cup 2018. Having gone into the tournament under the shadow of his captain Shaw, at the end of it he emerged as the most talented and exciting player.
In the five innings that he played in the World Cup, Gill hit three half-centuries and one century, finishing with a stunning average of 124. He invoked comparisons with Virat Kohli by more than just appearance; that trademark whip off the wrists to hit the ball between mid-wicket and long on along the ground and a couple of exquisite lofted hits were starkly reminiscent of the current Indian captain.
Post the World Cup, Gill was snapped up by KKR in the IPL. And he returned with impressive figures of 203 runs in 13 innings at an average of 33.83 and a strike rate of over 146. Shubman Gill has been belting runs at will for Punjab in the domestic circuit and he also was the captain of India B in the Deodhar Trophy and led them to the title.
Recently, Gill has also started opening the innings for his domestic Ranji team Punjab and has returned very impressive numbers including a double ton. But the one innings that stands out is the 148 (154) he scored against Hyderabad. Looking ahead to the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023, India must look to build a strong core in their middle order. Gill needs to be groomed and given chances to convert his proficiency in the domestic circuit into international cricket and he must feel gutted and unlucky to miss out on playing for the country in ODIs.
2. Suryakumar Yadav
It has not been an easy year for Mumbai and Mumbai Indians batsman Suryakumar Yadav. Having performed consistently at the domestic circuit for a considerable amount of time, one would have imagined that he would have been called up to the national side by now.
He has been an integral member of his state Mumbai in every format and has been scoring consistently for them. His leadership abilities have also gained plaudits in the recent past. However, his main aim is to represent the country at the senior level. He reiterated that playing for India is the ultimate goal but at the end of the day it is very important to follow a process and hope for the best.
He has done everything possible from his side to get that elusive call-up into the national side. It’s not easy with a lot of players in contention for few open spots in the middle-order. Looking at what he can bring to the table, either as a backup opener or someone who can play a pivotal role in the middle order, Yadav should have been tried for the series against the Kiwis.
Sanju Samson has been in blistering form with the bat in the recent past. He smashed a whirlwind 212 off just 129 balls in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, recording the fastest double century by an Indian in List A cricket. He was also in good form in the 2019 edition of the IPL, scoring 342 runs at a strike rate of 148.70.
Samson’s gift of timing the ball effortlessly and his ability to clear the boundary at will marks him out as a special talent. However, despite being in the squad since the Bangladesh series, he has played one T20I. His omission from the T20 squad for the series against the Kiwis only to be included due to Shikhar Dhawan’s injury is doing some justice.
The youngster has given his best in trying to get noticed by the selectors but now has not been selected in the ODI squad even without getting a single game to prove himself. This can be discouraging for any player, and one can only hope that Samson takes it in his stride and comes back stronger. He has a golden opportunity to seal his place in India’s limited-overs sides.
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