International Cricket

T20 World Cup 2024 – India vs Bangladesh – Samson opens but falls early

Samson’s stay was brief: he was lbw to Shoriful Islam for 1 in the second over of the match.

Rohit, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli are the three regular openers in India’s 15-member squad. Kohli wasn’t available to play in the warm-up game, having only arrived in New York on the eve of the match. Samson is one of two wicketkeeper-batters in the squad alongside Rishabh Pant.

Pant batted at No. 3, replacing Samson at the crease.

India’s opening combination was a topic of debate in the lead-up to the tournament, with Rohit, as captain, expected to take one of the two opening slots.

Kohli, who has spent most of his T20I career as a No. 3 batter, comes into the World Cup on the back of a hugely successful IPL at the top of the order, topping the run charts with 741 at an average of 61.75 and a strike rate of 154.69, and showcasing an improved ability to access the boundary against spin in the middle overs – this had been an area of concern in recent seasons.

Jaiswal, meanwhile, offers India a high-intent, left-hand option with the tactical advantage of preventing oppositions from bowling left-arm spin in the powerplay – a style of bowling both Rohit and Kohli have struggled to score quickly against in the past.

Given that this is a warm-up match where both teams can use their entire squads – with a maximum of 11 allowed to bat and 11 fielding at any given time – not too much can be read into the choice of Samson as opener and Pant at No. 3. It’s possible that India may be looking to have a good look at both their keepers before deciding on whom to pick in their tournament-opener against Ireland on June 5.

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