Sanju Samson once again failed to make the cut in the Indian cricket team’s playing XI against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2024 Group A match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Sunday, June 9.

Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, Team India named an unchanged playing XI that secured an eight-wicket win over Ireland in their T20 World Cup 2024 opener at the same venue in New York.

Apart from Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were made to sit on the bench against Pakistan. 

Sanju Samson last featured for the Indian cricket team in their T20 World Cup 2024 warm-up fixture against Bangladesh. 

Samson opened the innings in the absence of Virat Kohli in the warm-up encounter.

However, Samson later failed to impress as he scored only one run off six deliveries. He was trapped in front of the stumps by left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam.

Samson was one of the standout batters in the recently-concluded Indian T20 League 2024. The Rajasthan captain amassed 531 runs in 16 matches at an average of 48.27 and a strike rate of 153.46. He slammed five fifties in the tournament.

So, why is Sanju Samson not playing for the Indian cricket team at the T20 World Cup 2024.

Why Sanju Samson is not playing for Indian cricket team at T20 World Cup 2024

The Indian cricket team has continued to back Rishabh Pant over Sanju Samson as their first-choice wicketkeeper-batter in the ongoing T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States.

Rishabh Pant has been given the responsibility of batting at No.3 as captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli continue to open in the marquee ICC T20 tournament.

Additionally, all-rounders Shivam Dube and Axar Patel have been preferred over Sanju Samson in the middle-order.

Former India wicketkeeper and ex-selector Saba Karim has said that Sanju Samson will play for the Indian cricket team at the T20 World Cup if Team India feels they need a batter at No.3 or if they opt to play an extra batter.

“They (Samson and Pant) play a different role altogether, so I don’t think there’s any competition between the two of them. Samson will get into the XI if the Indian team feels that it needs a batter at No.3, which means that Virat Kohli will open the innings," Saba Karim was quoted as saying to the Times of India.

“So, if the team management wants to play an additional top-order batter, then Samson will get in. Rishabh comes in lower down the order, at No 4 or No 5. It all depends on the needs of the team,” he added.

Going by the team combination, Samson can only find a place in the Indian playing XI at the ongoing T20 World Cup incase of an injury or if any other batter struggles with their recent form.

Photo credit: Alamy