After a rare start for Sanju Samson in the first ODI of the three-match series between New Zealand and India, the 28-year-old batter was dropped again, despite scoring 36 runs, from the playing 11 for the second game.

Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan lost the toss and was asked to bat first by opposition skipper Kane Williamson. Then Dhawan told the broadcasters that they have made two changes in their starting XI. One was Shardul Thakur making way for Deepak Chahar and the other was Deepak Hooda replacing Samson as a six bowling option.

“We would have bowled first as there’s moisture in the wicket. Even in the last game the wicket was seaming for the first 10-15 overs, we got to keep the positive intent and go for the runs. We got 2 changes. Instead of Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar comes in and Deepak Hooda comes in place of Sanju Samson,” Dhawan said at the toss.

“We only need 10 percent of improvement and it makes a huge impact and especially in the death bowling, we got to be a bit more smarter,” he added.

Indian fans seemed to be unhappy with Samson being left out of the playing 11 yet again. Sanju has failed to get a consistent run-in in the side, and after his benching, many called for ‘out of form’ Rishabh Pant to be dropped from the ODI as well as T20I team.

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