The 2nd ODI between India and New Zealand on Sunday got washed out due to rain. Hamilton’s bad weather forced an abandonment but even before the play started, Sanju Samson’s exclusion caught the attention of one and all. The Kerala cricketer has been in news for continuously being overlooked by the team management. After missing out on spot in India’s T20 World Cup squad, Sanju was named for the New Zealand tour. However, he warmed the bench for the entire T20I series which left his fans disheartened and fuming.
Come the ODIs, Sanju was inducted into the playing XI for the first encounter against the Kiwis on Friday. He scored a 38 ball 36 and featured in a crucial 94 run stand with Shreyas Iyer that powered India to a competitive total of 306. However, the lack of an extra bowling option saw India losing the game by 7 wickets and same was the reason behind Sanju getting dropped from the 2nd ODI.
After the game was called off on Sunday, Dhawan said leaving Sanju out was a tactical move, just to have an extra bowling option.
“We wanted the sixth bowler to come in, so Sanju Samson missed out and Hooda came in. And Chahar was picked because he can swing the ball really well. A few of our guys are resting but this side is still strong, shows the depth of our squad,” Dhawan said.
The skipper reserved massive praise on his opening partner Shubman Gill who denied a fifty due to rain interruption.
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“It was good to bat on and to see Shubman perform this way was very encouraging. This is a good opportunity for the guys travelling so far, to see the way Shubman has batted and Umran’s bowling, glad to see that transition. As a team, we want to get our processes right and put on a good performance in Christchurch. Hopefully, we can win and enjoy ourselves,” he concluded.
The teams will move to Christchurch for the third and the final ODI, scheduled to be played on Wednesday. The encounter remains a do-or-die game for India as the hosts lead the series 1-0.
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