Indian World Cup-winning opener Gautam Gambhir wants wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, and not Shikar Dhawan to open the innings with KL Rahul in the ongoing T20 series with Sri Lanka. The first T20I was scheduled for Sunday (5 January) but was cancelled due to rain and damp pitch in the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati.
Not the news that we would want to hear, but the 1st T20I between India and Sri Lanka has been abandoned due to rain.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 5, 2020
The second T20I match is scheduled for play at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on Tuesday (7 January 2020). The Indian team is without their main opener- Rohit Sharma and have brought back Shikhar Dhawan to replace him. Dhawan himself missed the series against West Indies due to injury.
However, Gautam Gambhir, who himself opened for India from 2003 to 2013, believes Sanju Samson needs to open the innings with KL Rahul. Gambhir was speaking to the official broadcaster when he said that the management should have experimented with Sanju Samson.
Samson was a part of the Indian team which welcomed Bangladesh and West Indies. However, the young lad from Kerala did not get a chance in the playing 11.
Samson has had a good domestic season. He recently scored a record-breaking double hundred in September’s Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Sanju Samson converts his maiden List A ton to a double hundred.
His 212* v Goa is the highest score in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
6th Indian to score List A 200.
Indians to score List A 200:
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) October 12, 2019
Gambhir fears that it will be very difficult for the 25-year-old player to get chances when Rohit Sharma returns in the Australia series.
It has not been the first time when Gambhir has come out and publicly backed Sanju Samson. Various former cricketers like Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble have also backed the Rajasthan Royals player.
Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan have been India’s go-to openers from almost 7 years now. The duo has played memorable partnerships together for the Men in Blue in limited-over format.
However, when either of them unavailable, KL Rahul has stepped up. Dhawan was unavailable for the West Indies tour, and KL Rahul opened with good performances.
In fact, he was the man of the match in the last T20I against West Indies.
India will play the third T20 against Sri Lanka in Pune before welcoming Australia on a 3-match ODI series.