Indian commentator Aakash Chopra has questioned India for playing Sanju Samson at No.5 when he was initially picked for the No.6 batsman’s role. Sanju Samson scored a nine-ball 13 as India set West Indies a target of 166 in the fifth T20I in Lauderhill, Florida on Sunday, August 13. Windies achieved the target with eight wickets two overs to spare and five matches to their name. Match series 3-2.
Reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra questioned the call to send Samson before Hardik Pandya. He said:
“Tilak Varma got out and India shuffled their batting once again. You asked Sanju Samson to bat at No. 5 this time and Hardik Pandya himself came at No. 6. He (Samson) played one or two good shots and then he got out.”
The former Indian opener added:
“I am trying to understand why you repeatedly send him at No. 5 when you are auditioning him for No. 6. Has he missed a lot of chances? What about Sanju Samson? It’s a big, big, big question.”
Cricketer turned commentator also criticized Sanju Samson for failing to make the most of his talent. he explained:
“When Sanju Samson plays his shots, he looks like an extremely good player and you feel he should be played all matches and given a lot of chances, but when you play him at No. 5 or No. 6 and he doesn’t score runs, it becomes a point of discussion that he is missing opportunities.”
On the ball of Romario Shepherd, Samson handed a catch to Nicholas Pooran behind the wicket. The wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala scored 32 runs at a modest average of 10.67 in his three hits in the T20I series.
Also, read: Nicholas Pooran Injured After Beating Brandon King And Arshdeep Singh In 5th T20 Match
“Hardik Pandya Just Could Not Find Form” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Hardik Pandya played a tough innings after replacing Sanju Samson at the crease. He saw:
“Hardik Pandya just could not find form. He had scored eight runs off 16 balls at one stage. You are batting at No. 6, slightly towards the backend, but the bat was not striking the ball at all. He hit a six and then got out.”
Hardik Pandya was not at his best in the T20I series against the West Indies. Pandya scored 77 runs in his four innings at an impressive strike rate of 110.00 and a modest average of 25.67.