Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that Sanju Samson might not get a chance to be in the playing XI for the T20I series against New Zealand. However, Team India will play against New Zealand in a three-match T20I series, with the first game taking place in Wellington on Friday, November 18.
However, Hardik Pandya will lead the 16-member Indian squad, where they won’t get the service of veteran players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Meanwhile, while talking about the squad in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra questioned Samson’s place in the XI.
He added, “You have selected Sanju Samson but where will you play him, because if Shreyas Iyer doesn’t play at No. 3, Suryakumar Yadav doesn’t play at No. 4 and Hardik doesn’t play at No. 5, where will they play?”
Aakash Chopra also stated that there is no place available in the middle order for the Kerala wicketkeeper-batter as well. However, Samson has so far scored 296 runs which came at a strike rate of 135.15 in the 16 T20Is. He last appeared for India against the West Indies in August, scoring an unbeaten 30 and 15 runs at No. 5 and No. 4 respectively in the two games he played as well.
He continued, “Suryakumar Yadav should not go below No. 4, Iyer should not go below No. 3 or No. 4 and Hardik shouldn’t go below No. 5. The earliest place available for Sanju Samson is No. 6 but he might not be useful there. You can play Deepak Hooda there, although most of Hooda’s runs have also come at the top of the order.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 18, 2022
“Is Shubman Gill your all-three format player or a T20 specialist?” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra also questioned Shubman Gill’s selection and believes Prithvi Shaw should have been selected as well. He also added that pacers like Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj might not get a place in the playing XI as well.
“Is Shubman Gill your all-three format player or a T20 specialist? If he is not a T20 specialist and you want to write a new story, then Prithvi Shaw should have probably been there. Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj are a part of your team but will you be able to play either of them? The question is that Arshdeep and Harshal are automatic choices because Harshal was part of the World Cup also and provides batting as well. I feel you will not be able to use the extra pace of Umran Malik and Siraj,” Aakash Chopra concluded.
India might want to add at least one of Malik or Siraj to add some extra pace to their attack as well. And, they could play two out of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh in the playing XI as well.