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Injured Dhawan out of West Indies T20Is; Samson called up as replacement

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

An injured left knee has ruled out Shikhar Dhawan from India’s three-match T20I series against world champions West Indies at home.

A release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, dated Wednesday, November 27, stated that Dhawan had hurt his left knee, sustaining a deep cut while playing for Delhi against Maharashtra in the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India’s domestic T20 competition.

“Dhawan suffered a deep cut on his left knee during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game against Maharashtra in Surat,” the release said. “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.”

In Dhawan’s absence, the selectors have turned to 25-year-old Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who was named in the squad for the Bangladesh T20Is, but did not feature in a single game, before subsequently being left out of the original squad for the West Indies series, which was announced last week. However, it remains to be seen if he turns out to be the actual beneficiary of Dhawan’s injury, with Karnataka opener KL Rahul also waiting in the wings and having been in blistering form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Rahul has so far racked up 225 runs in six outings, at an average of 56.25, and has struck his runs at 145.16. Samson, by contrast, has had a much quieter tournament, averaging 28 for his 112 runs and striking them at 130.23. Nevertheless, Samson, who last played for India in 2015, in a T20I against Zimbabwe in Harare, which also remains his only international appearance, has had an eventful last few weeks. Just a fortnight before being named in the squad for the Bangladesh series, he slammed his maiden List A century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy – a devastating 212*, off just 129 balls, against Goa, in the process registering the highest individual score in the history of the 50-over competition.

Wriddhiman Saha

Saha will have until February to recuperate from his finger fracture

Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha, India’s Test wicketkeeper, sustained a fracture on his right ring finger during the pink ball Test against Bangladesh at his home ground Eden Gardens. He has since successfully undergone surgery in Mumbai and will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for rehabilitation. A timeline on his recovery is still awaited, although India’s next Test assignment is only in February next year, when they visit New Zealand for a two-match series.

India host West Indies for three T20Is and as many ODIs in their last assignment of 2019. The first T20I takes place at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday, December 6.

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