All the calls for including Sanju Samson in India’s playing XI have been finally listened by the team management as the wicketkeeper-batsman has been picked him for the 3rd T20I against Sri Lanka. The series is led by India and it could be a reason why they decided to rest their regular wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and give a go to Samson. The 25-year-old has been part of the Indian T20I squads since the start of the home season but was permitted to the bench for 8 consecutive matches.
Sanju Samson made his T20I debut way back in 2015 on the Zimbabwe tour which is till date his only appearance in International cricket. Samson made a comeback to the Indian team due to MS Dhoni’s break from the sport since the 2019 World Cup. Samson scored a double century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy which added to his backing from the former cricketers. However, Samson couldn’t live up to the hype on his comeback as he was dismissed for six runs facing only two balls.
Sanju smashed a six over long-off on the very first ball he faced but was trapped in front by a googly in the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga. He walked out to bat after a big opening stand between the opening pair of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. Between Sanju Samson’s two appearances, India featured in as many 73 matches, the most consecutive T20I matches missed by any Indian. The previous most was 65 T20I matches by Umesh Yadav whose T20I debut was in 2012 and his 2nd T20I in 2018.
In the overall list, the 73 matches missed by Sanju Samson is the joint 3rd most by any player. England’s Joe Denly missed a world record 79 matches between 2010 and 2018. His teammate Liam Plunkett didn’t feature in a T20I between 2006 and 2015 where he missed a total of 74 games. In fact, India played as many as 221 Internationals between Samson’s two appearances. Only Abhinav Mukund (237), Amit Mishra (224) and Naman Ojha (223) missed more Internationals of India between two appearances.
Most consecutive matches missed between two appearances for a team in Men’s T20I cricket:
(Stats as on January 10, 2020)
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