Despite Samson being a suitable candidate for the middle-order, the team management opted for Kishan, likely due to his left-handed advantage. The team sheet shared by BCCI indicated that Kishan would bat at No. 4, followed by Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav.
This decision came as a surprise, considering Kishan’s limited experience batting between No. 4 and 7 in ODIs. On the other hand, Suryakumar Yadav, donning Samson’s jersey, fielded as a substitute during the match.
Samson, who had impressed with his performances before being sidelined due to injury, missed out on the series opener. For Suryakumar, this series is crucial to showcase his skills in the 50-over format after an impressive run in T20Is.
As KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are expected to return for the Asia Cup, these three ODIs offer Suryakumar a final opportunity to stake his claim in the Indian middle-order.
In the 1st ODI against West Indies, Suryakumar Yadav (SKY) wore Sanju Samson’s jersey while fielding
— Usama Zafar (@Usama7) July 27, 2023
— Nishnath__999 (@nishnathJamala2) July 27, 2023
Surya wearing the Jersey of Sanju Samson. What is this sky bro .#CRICKET #TWITTER #COOL #TRENDYWORLD #INDVSWI #ODI #INDIA #TEAMINDIA #INDIACRICKET #SURYA_KUMAR #SKY #SANJU #LIVEMATCH . pic.twitter.com/toRJ2njfy4
— DANIYAL SAFI (@DANIYALSAFI100) July 27, 2023
SKY teasing Samson fans 💀 pic.twitter.com/0HzXCtO6r1
— cricket wala ladka (@cricketwalaldka) July 27, 2023
SKY wearing Sanju Samson's Jersey pic.twitter.com/AODi4XhrgW
— Don Cricket 🏏 (@doncricket_) July 27, 2023
In a surprising move, Suryakumar’s role was adjusted from batting at No. 4 to that of a finisher, placed at No. 6. Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl, as the team introduced young pacer Mukesh Kumar.
While India is gearing up for the ICC World Cup, the West Indies, a two-time World Cup-winning team, is grappling with their failure to qualify for the showpiece event for the first time.
Both sides have placed their trust in the playing conditions by including two specialist spinners in their respective line-ups to support the seamers.
Despite India’s recent dominance in ODI encounters against West Indies, the Caribbean side showed resilience in the corresponding series a year ago, making the clash an exciting prospect.
As the ODI series unfolds, all eyes are on India’s team selection and Suryakumar Yadav’s performance as he aims to solidify his spot in the team ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup and the ICC World Cup.