ODI World Cup 2023: No Sanju Samson, R Ashwin in India's squad leaves fans miffed; meme fest explodes
The exclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin and Sanju Samson from Team India's 15-member provisional squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup in 2023 has left several fans miffed.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday revealed a 15-member provisional squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup in 2023. One notable decision was the inclusion of wicket-keeper batter KL Rahul, even though he did not participate in the Asia Cup 2023 game against Pakistan. Interestingly, Tilak Varma, who was initially part of India's 17-member team for the Asia Cup, did not secure a spot in the 15-man World Cup squad. Sanju Samson and veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was also left out of the World Cup selection.
Prasidh Krishna, who recently made a return to the ODI side after an extended injury layoff, did not make the cut, but the selectors chose Jasprit Bumrah.
The team selection followed chief selector Ajit Agarkar's previous statement that the World Cup squad would be chosen from the 18-member Asia Cup squad, which included reserve player Samson. During the press conference for the Asia Cup squad selection, Agarkar mentioned that KL Rahul had suffered a minor injury, leading to the inclusion of Sanju Samson as a backup option.
"Shreyas is being declared completely fit while KL Rahul has picked up a niggle. It is not his original injury, and that's why Sanju is traveling with us. We are all expecting him to be fit, if not at the start of the Asia Cup, then maybe for the second and third games, but he is well on track. They are two important players, and since we are not finalizing the World Cup teams until September 5, it gives us some time," Agarkar had stated.
Now that KL Rahul has been declared fully fit, he has been included in the World Cup squad. The wicket-keeper batter is also expected to travel to Sri Lanka and remain available for selection in India's Asia Cup Super 4 matches.
India's squad for ODI World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
Meanwhile, irked fans took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their anger over the exclusion of Sanju Samson and R Ashwin. "I could see a few out of form players but no Chahal, Ashwin, Sanju Samson and other players who are ACTUALLY in the form," wrote one fan.
Another added, "Highly disappointed with BCCI team selection. Ashwin should have been in the team , K. L. Rahul should have been out, Players like Chahal, Sanju Samson, Ruturaj Gaikwad did not get chance, Out of form Rohit Sharma is still captain. Suryakumar is not 50 over player."
"Forget India winning World Cup 2023 if Ashwin not playing in Indian spin conditions who can bat as well. Don't understand why KL is included over Sanju Samson! The same Rohit was crying when not included in 2011, now doing injustice with Samson," added a third miffed fan.
Here's a look at some of the reactions and memes that exploded minutes after BCCI announced the Team India squad for ODI World Cup 2023: