BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar on Monday night announced the squad for the impending three-match ODI series against Australia. 15 players were picked for the first two matches with four regulars among captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli given a breather, while 17 were named for the final tie, which comprises the original World Cup squad and two standby players in Ashwin and Washington Sundar. Despite a few unlikely players getting a call-up for the Australia series, Sanju Samson was snubbed, yet again. But even as his ardent fans expressed disappointment on social media, questioning the logic behind his non-selection, Samson shared a million-dollar reaction on it.
Samson was part of the Asia Cup squad that had left for Sri Lanka last month. He was picked as a travelling reserve amid injury concerns for KL Rahul, who had stayed back for the group-stage matches. Samson was never included in the main squad in Rahul’s absence, let alone the XI and later was sent back home ahead of the start of the Super Four stage in Colombo.
With selectors giving rest to Rohit Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav for the first two matches against Australia which will be played on September 22 and 24 in Mohali and Indore respectively, likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prasidh Krishna was called up while Tilak Varma was retained. However, Samson was not picked.
As fans fumed on social media, lashing out at BCCI, Samson took to his Facebook account to share a million-dollar reaction. There were no words in it. Perhaps, none was required.
The cynosure of the announcement was however the return of Ravichandran Ashwin in the ODI set-up. The last time he was part of the ODI XI was in the tour of South Africa in January 2022 where he had played two games, both in Paarl. Those were in fact his only two appearances in the last six years.
Ashwin has been picked, alongside Sundar, after Axar Patel picked up an injury during Asia Cup which ruled him out of the first two matches against Australia and his participation in the third tie is only subject to clearing the fitness test.