India opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match series against West Indies, starting December 6. Wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has been named the replacement for Dhawan.
Shikhar Dhawan is recovering from a left knee injury that he suffered during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 game for Delhi earlier this month. Dhawan picked up a deep cut on his left knee while diving on the field and needed a visit to the hospital to treat the injury.
“Dhawan suffered a deep cut on his left knee during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game against Maharashtra in Surat. The BCCI Medical Team assessed him on Tuesday to review the healing of his wound. The BCCI Medical Team has suggested that Dhawan needs some more time for his stitches to come off and his wound to heal completely,” BCCI said in a statement released on Wednesday.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Sanju Samson as Dhawan’s replacement for the T20I series,” the statement further read.
Sanju Samson earned a T20I call-up for the 3-match T20I series against Bangladesh but he did not make it to the playing XI even as India clinched the series 2-1.
Despite not getting an opportunity to prove his credentials, Sanju Samson was initially not named in the India squad for West Indies series, prompting critical reactions from the cricket fraternity.
The selection committee, it emerged, wanted Sanju Samson as a back-up middle-order batsman for the Bangladesh series for which captain Virat Kohli was rested. With the return of Kohli, Samson had to make way for the India captain in the T20I squad.
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee faced backlash for dropping Samson with Congress MP Shahsi Tharoor and World Cup-winner Harbhajan Singh criticising the decision.
“Very disappointed to see @IamSanjuSamson dropped without a chance. He carried the drinks for three T20Is & has been promptly discarded. Are they testing his batting or his heart?” Tharoor had tweeted after the India squads were announced last week.
Harbhajan Singh replied to the tweet and also urged BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to rope in “strong people” in the selection panel.
“I guess they r testing his heart #selectionpanelneedtobechanged need strong people there.. hope dada @SGanguly99 will do the needful,” Bhajji replied to Tharoor’s tweet.