Team India announced their squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 a couple of days ago on September 5. The squad was mostly on the expected lines but the absence of Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav getting picked ahead of him has sparked the most criticism. Surya, who is the World No. 1 T20 batter is yet to crack the code in ODI cricket, was preferred as coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma have a lot of hope from him replicating his exploits in the shortest format.
Samson, who averages 55 in 12 ODI innings, which is nearly 31 more than that of Surya wasn't picked in the side despite being in reserves for the Asia Cup. Now, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has backed the selectors over the big call saying that Samson's game is riskier than that of Surya and the latter is a more complete player than the stumper.
"Surya should be selected ahead of Sanju Samson. Surya is a complete player. Sanju does not have the middle overs game like that at the moment," Harbhajan said during the virtual press conference for Star Sports.
"Samson plays riskier cricket than Surya. Surya will need to bat the exact number of balls like he does in T20. When you bat from the 35th over, you need a game where you can find the gaps in the field, and nobody is better than Surya than doing that. If it were up to me, I would play Surya in every game. He needs just 30 balls to change the game," the former World Cup winner added.
Surya will only get an opportunity if Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul gets injured given Ishan Kishan with his 82-run knock against Pakistan has gotten higher in the pecking order.
India squad for World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.