Two of the most eye-catching calls taken by the India selectors for the upcoming Ireland T20I series included a recall for the talented Sanju Samson and a maiden call-up for Rahul Tripathi. Both Samson and Tripathi were among the top performers of IPL 2022 but weren’t picked for the ongoing five-match T20I series against South Africa at home despite several first-choice stars being rested.
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However, on Wednesday, the BCCI named a 17-man squad for the two T20Is to be played in Dublin on June 26 and June 28 and it featured both Samson and Tripathi. The squad will be led by allrounder Hardik Pandya.
Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad have done enough to merit confirmed starts as the openers in the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. And with Suryakumar Yadav regaining full fitness as well, he will bat a the no 3 spot.
So that leaves the no 4 spot up for grabs with Rishabh Pant rested and now there will be a three-way battle between Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi for it.
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Former India opener Aakash Chopra thinks that ideally, per the pegging order, Hooda should get the preference. “When Pant isn’t there (at no 4), the big question is who will replace him? Will it be Sanju Samson or Deepak Hooda or Rahul Tripathi? Sky has the third spot, opener’s slots are covered by Ishan and Ruturaj. If we go by the pegging order, Deepak Hooda deserves the fourth spot. I will be thinking they should play Hooda, even at no five. Pandya can bat at no 4," Chopra said on his YouTube channel on Friday.
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He added, “When looking from this perspective, doesn’t look like Tripathi will get a chance, nor will Samson. There are just two T20Is - how many changes can you expect? I’m not a 100 per cent certain if they will get a chance (to play). But if they do play Samson/Tripathi then Hooda may ask why he’s being picked if there’s no place for him in the eleven."
India Full Squad For Ireland Series: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik
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