Days after being left out of India’s T20I squad for the West Indies series, wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson has been called into the team to replace injured Shikhar Dhawan.

India, who are to play three T20Is against West Indies, had captain Virat Kohli returning to the fold, while the likes of Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and spin-bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were called in as well. The talking point, however, remained the absence of Samson, who has now been included as opening batsman after Dhawan picked up an injury on his left leg while playing for Delhi against Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last week. 

The southpaw’s absence will pave a way for KL Rahul to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma.

“The BCCI Medical Team assessed him [Dhawan] on Tuesday to review the healing of his wound,” read a statement from BCCI.

“The medical team has suggested that Dhawan needs some more time for his stitches to come off and his wound to heal completely.

Read | Kohli returns to lead India T20 squad against West Indies

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Sanju Samson as Dhawan’s replacement for the T20I series.”

Samson, who was a part of India’s T20I series against Bangladesh but didn’t feature even in a single game, had an impressive tenure in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy while playing for Kerala after returning some breathtaking figures in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Since being dropped, the 25-year-old was expected to join the Rajasthan team of the Indian T20 League as part of their conditioning camp in the first week of December. But now that he is called in, it remains to be seen how the team lines up in the series, which starts on December 6 in Mumbai.

Read | Kedar Jadhav’s inclusion in ODI team a backward step

In other news, wicket-keeper batsman, Wriddhiman Saha – who was a vital figure in India Test series win over Bangladesh – had surgery in Mumbai for a fracture on his right ring finger. The 35-year-old picked up the injury during the recent Day/Night against Bangladesh in Kolkata.

India's squad for West Indies T20Is: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sanju Samson

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe