Despite a decent knock in the opening match of the ODI series on Friday in Auckland, Sanju Samson was dropped from the playing XI for the second game. The decision left fans on Twitter fuming at captain Shikhar Dhawan and head coach VVS Laxman as India made way for Deepak Hooda in his stead. At the end of the second game, which was abandoned due to rain after just 12.5 overs of play, Dhawan revealed the reason behind dropping Samson.

He was benched through the entire T20I series with Hardik Pandya considering it an “unfortunate” case and explaining the reason to be “strategic”. But Samson was picked for the Auckland ODI where he scored a 38-ball 36 while also stitching a 96-run stand alongside Shreyas Iyer.

Yet Samson was dropped. And while Dhawan did not reveal the reason after losing the toss, he explained why Samson had to be dropped.

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“We wanted the sixth bowler to come in, so Sanju Samson missed out and Hooda came in. And Chahar was picked because he can swing the ball really well. A few of our guys are resting but this side is still strong, shows the depth of our squad,” he explained.

If India stick to their plan for the third ODI, Samson will unfortunately miss the third and final game of the series as well.

Speaking about the game which was called off due to rain, Dhawan said, “Not in our control, you just have to wait. We were waiting to get the game started, can’t help it. Now looking forward to the 3rd game. I was quite surprised with the surface, I thought it would be seaming quite a bit, but it wasn’t as much as the last match. It was good to bat on and to see Shubman perform this way was very encouraging. ”

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