17 August 2023, Mumbai: Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson’s journey with the Indian cricket team appears to be in jeopardy following his lackluster performance in the ODI and T20I series against the West Indies. Despite ending the ODI series on a positive note with a score of 51 in the final match, Samson’s recent T20I run of 12, 7, and 13 failed to impress, contributing to India’s 2-3 series loss.
Sanju Samson’s Struggle
While Samson has earned a spot in the upcoming three-match T20I series against Ireland starting in Dublin, it seems unlikely that he will secure a place in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, as reported by Times of India on Thursday. A potential omission from the Asia Cup squad could also spell the end of his journey towards the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Asia Cup 2023 Selection in Doubt
The Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled to commence in Multan on August 30, with India’s first match against Pakistan on September 2. Sources from the BCCI suggest that the focus will be on selecting the Asia Cup team initially, and the World Cup squad will likely be finalized later. “Right now, the selectors are likely to only pick the Asia Cup team. The World Cup squad will mostly be picked later,” a BCCI source mentioned to TOI.
Competition for Playing XI Spot
Despite a commendable ODI average of 55.71 in 13 matches, Samson’s chances of securing a spot in the playing XI could be challenged by the return of KL Rahul and the impressive performance of Ishan Kishan, who scored three consecutive fifties in the recent West Indies series.
Bumrah and Krishna’s Crucial Showcase
Sources cited by TOI suggest that apart from Jasprit Bumrah, pacer Prasidh Krishna might make a comeback for the Asia Cup 2023. Krishna had last played for India against Zimbabwe in August 2022 before being sidelined due to a back injury. His return could provide an added dimension to India’s pace attack.
Final Selection Awaited
The selection of the Team India squad for the Asia Cup appears to be contingent on the performance of Bumrah and Krishna in the opening T20I against Ireland on August 18. According to a BCCI source, the selectors would ideally want to observe their bowling prowess before making the final call.
While KL Rahul’s fitness seems promising, he has also been entrusted with wicket-keeping duties. In contrast, Shreyas Iyer’s recovery from a back injury is still underway. Both players have participated in match simulations at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and are set to feature in a practice match soon. The fitness assessment of players returning from the West Indies tour, along with evaluations by NCA’s physios, has contributed to a delay in finalizing the team selection, as per the TOI report.