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Sanju Samson, Umran Malik and Ghosts of Powerplay: Why series win vs NZ doesn't feel right?

Sanju Samson and Umran Malik did not get a chance. Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan failed to exorcise the ghosts of Powerplay in the T20 World Cup 2022. What's next for Team India.

Kartik Mehindru Written By: Kartik Mehindru @mehindrukartik New Delhi Updated on: November 23, 2022 16:43 IST
Sanju Samson and Umran Malik did not get a chance. Why?
Image Source : BCCI, GETTY Sanju Samson and Umran Malik did not get a chance. Why?

India won the series vs New Zealand 1-0, with the first and the last match falling victim to the unkind weather gods. Hardik and company put up a good performance in the one full solitary game that the team got to play but, the performance, specifically after the World Cup debacle, didn't scream change. 

The Ghosts of Powerplay

Coming out of the T20 World Cup in Australia, India's run rate in the Powerplay was only above that of UAE. That's how bad the situation was. The semifinal loss vs England was also attributed to a lack of intent and runs in the Powerplay. 

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant opened in the series vs New Zealand, but again, the result wasn't what everyone hoped for. Both the opening batters looked good in terms of intent, but the execution failed to come into being. 

In the 2nd T20I, the first wicket fell at the 5.1 over mark, when the team's score read 36. In the 3rd T20I, chasing 161, Kishan fell at the 1.6 over mark, with the team score just at 13. Pant fell soon after trying to play a non-sense shot, and India suddenly found themselves reeling at 21/2.

Where is Umran Malik?

If the motive of the management is to build a team for the T20 World Cup in 2024, Umran Malik needs to be groomed accordingly. There is no point in selecting him if he isn't going to get game time. 

There is an argument that he needs to be groomed. If yes, let him play domestic and India A tours. There isn't any grooming happening while sitting on the bench. That's for sure. 

No Sanju Samson

As Hardik Pandya puts it, Sanju Samson is an unfortunate case. Sure he is. After the ODI series vs South Africa, it was almost certain that Sanju Samson would feature in the eleven. 

First of all, the seniors used to play so Sanju's place in the team was up in the air, but now, when the seniors are on rest, there still is no sign of Sanju Samson. How is it fair? 

He isn't preferred when the seniors are playing and he isn't preferred when the juniors are playing. When will he play then? Unfortunately, yes sure, Hardik, you're right. 

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024 to be played in new format; Know about rules, hosts, teams and other details

Bottom Line

This was the first series after the T20 World Cup heartbreak, and we just got to see one full game. The moves need to happen, and it needs to happen fast. If it's really Hardik's team, as he said after the 3rd T20I, he needs to think differently. The same approach over and over is what has defined the team India at the ICC events so far. 

The team might have won the series, but the questions that gained steam during the T20 World Cup 2022 haven't really been answered. 


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