The final T20I of the three-match series between India and Sri Lanka took place in Pune, where the hosts crushed the visitors by a 78-run margin and clinched the series 2-0. After posting a massive total of 201, Virat Kohli-led side curbed Sri Lanka at just 123.
Shikhar Dhawan had an excellent day with the bat as he scored the tenth fifty of his career. The left-handed batsman registered a 97-run opening stand with KL Rahul, who also reached his ninth half-century in the shortest format of the game.
Sanju Samson, who had been warming up the bench, was finally included in the playing XI in place of Rishabh Pant. It was indeed a special moment for Samson as he wore the blue jersey after five years. The right-handed batsman debuted against Zimbabwe back in 2015.
Samson created an unwanted record as soon as he entered the field. The wicket-keeper missed 73 T20Is between two appearances, which is a record for any Indian cricketer. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav is now second on the list with 65 T20Is.
When it comes to overall figures, then England’s Joe Denly sits at the top of the table, with 79 T20Is missed between two appearances. Another English player Liam Plunkett (74), is second. Samson shares the third spot with Sri Lanka’s Mahela Udawatte, who also missed as many as 73 matches between two appearances.
In the finale at Pune, Samson was promoted up the order as he came to bat at No.3. The Kerala-born left the fans as well as the skipper surprised with his start. Samson hit a six on the very first ball he faced. However, the joy didn’t last long as he got out on the next ball.
In the end, the Indian team won the match, and all the players were seen clicking a group photo with the trophy, but Samson was found missing from the team picture. The absence of him left his fans bewildered. Soon after, the reason came out as to why Samson didn’t join the team celebration.
The opener in Tests for India, Mayank Agarwal, posted a photo on Twitter where Sanju was spotted along with Krunal Pandya, Axar Patel, and Suryakumar Yadav.
Them boys ready for the tour! 😬 pic.twitter.com/865UXYJh7S
— Mayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) January 11, 2020
Sanju joined India A team to travel to New Zealand for practice games. The India A side is scheduled to play a practice match against New Zealand starting from January 17.