The T20I series between India and Sri Lanka culminated with hosts Virat Kohli and Co. registering an emphatic 78-run victory in the third match. After amassing a mammoth total of 201 runs, the Men in Blue decimated the Sri Lankan batting force and curbed them to 123 runs in order to clinch the three-match series 2-0. The Indian bowling force, led by youngster Navdeep Saini emerged potent in Pune as no other Sri Lanka batsman apart from Dhananjaya de Silva (57) managed to stay for a prolonged time in the middle.
Meanwhile, one instance that garnered much attention ahead of the match was the inclusion of Sanju Samson in the playing XI. Samson was finally given an opportunity in place of Rishabh Pant, who has been under scrutiny for his poor glovework and inconsistent batting performances.
Fans were elated after seeing Samson finally don the Indian jersey after a span of five years. After making his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in 2015, the wicketkeeper-batsman missed 73 T20Is before making his second appearance for India in the third T20I against Sri Lanka.
Sanju Samson was promoted up the order against Sri Lanka
Skipper Virat Kohli pushed Samson ahead in the batting order as the Kerala-born batsman took the guard at No.3 against Sri Lanka. Leaving the Indian fans flabbergasted, the right-hander started off in style as he plundered a six on the very first ball against Wanindu Hasaranga. However, the joy didn’t last long for Samson as he was trapped plumb on the very next ball. However, his departure didn’t make much difference to a strong Indian batting force, who stacked 201 runs on the scoreboard.
The Indian team was on cloud nine after clinching the series but one thing that left the Indian fans puzzled was the absence of Samson from the team picture at trophy celebrations. Samson did not join the team celebration as he joined India A team to travel New Zealand for practice games.
The 25-year-old was spotted in a picture posted by opener Mayank Agarwal with India A team in flight. The side departed for the series that consists of three one-day games and two four-day games. The India A side is scheduled to play a practice match against New Zealand starting from January 17.