On Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 15-man squad for both the ODI and T20I series against West Indies, starting from December 6. Regular skipper Virat Kohli made a return to the limited-overs squad after taking a short break during T20I series against Bangladesh to lead the team. Alongside Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav also returned to the white-ball format after a while.
Interestingly Sanju Samson, who was part of India's squad for B'desh T20Is, was dropped from the team without playing a single game in the series. Samson was included in the Bangladesh T20Is on merit after scoring massive runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy but the flamboyant Rishabh Pant was preferred over him against the Bangla Tigers in all three matches.
It's surely hard for Sanju Samson in Indian cricket, who has a lot of potential but has been ignored by selectors many a time. Earlier, it was former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was the mainstay in the Indian team in the role of wicketkeeper and now it's Rishabh Pant, who has strong backing from selectors despite going through a rough patch from a while now.
Samson might not be a phenomenal wicketkeeper but Rishabh Pant isn't either. He committed some awful mistakes during Bangladesh T20Is. Samson is a more technical batsman than Pant but such is the selection policy, that he is still not getting chance in the team.
Samson played his sole match for India - a T20 - in July 2015 when a second-string team toured Zimbabwe. He was 19 then. But, the Kerala batsman can also be looked at as specialist batsman, something the management has failed to look at yet again.
In the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, Samson slammed an unbeaten 212 which is the highest individual score in the history of the tournament. It is unfair for any player to get dropped from the team without playing a match and it's a bad call from BCCI to take such a decision, which can down the morale of any young batsman.
Veteran Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle also felt it was a harsh call for Sanju as he took to Twitter and wrote: "Hard on Sanju Samson but I guess he is much better off playing games rather than just travelling around. Big vote of confidence in Rishabh Pant but the team will expect more from him."
With Samson out from the Indian team, it's time for Pant to prove his value as time continues to tick by for the youngster.