"We wanted to..."- Shikhar Dhawan reveals the reason behind Sanju Samson's exclusion in 2nd ODI vs NZ
The hosts won the toss and put India to bat first, and only 12.5 overs were bowled before the game was washed out, with India reaching a score of 89/1. The first time the rain came was in the fifth over.
It took more than three hours to restart the game, and the match was reduced to 29 overs per side. And once again, the rain came in the 13th over, and the umpires had to call off the game. Apart from rain, there was one more thing to notice on the Indian side.
And it was the exclusion of wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson. India made two changes to its playing XI from the first ODI. Deepak Hooda replaced Samson, and it was Deepak Chahar who was brought in to replace Shardul Thakur.
However, the exclusion of Samson came as a shock to many fans, as he did a decent job with the bat in the first ODI. He scored 36 runs off 38 balls, and despite that, he was replaced. After the game was abandoned, Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan revealed the reason for that decision.
He said, "We wanted the sixth bowler to come in, so Sanju Samson missed out and Hooda came in. A few of our guys are resting but this side is still strong, shows the depth of our squad."
Furthermore, he said that the surface was surprising and was better to bat on, and Shubham Gill and Suryakumar batted well. He also said that Gill and Umran Malik impressed in the first game, and it is exciting to see youngsters chipping in.
With the second game getting washed out, the hosts are still leading the three-match ODI by a lead of 1-0. Both teams will now lock horns in the series decider on Wednesday in Christchurch. Now India can't win the series, but a win in the last game will ensure a series tie.