India’s Sanju Samson has been ruled out of the T20I series against Sri Lanka due to a knee injury.
Jitesh Sharma, the Vidarbha and Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batter, as a result, has received a maiden call-up to the India team for the second and third games.
“Samson hurt his left knee while attempting to field a ball near the boundary ropes during the first T20I,” a BCCI release stated. “He was taken for scans and a specialist opinion this afternoon in Mumbai by the BCCI Medical Team and has been advised rest and rehabilitation.”
India won the series opener in Mumbai by two runs on Tuesday.
Samson was earlier dismissed for 5 as the hosts found the going tough before Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel lifted them to a respectable 162 for 5.
Samson had also dropped Pathum Nissanka in the first over of Sri Lanka’s chase.
While Samson did not wear the wicketkeeping gloves in the first game, Jitesh has been added to India’s squad as a cover for Ishan Kishan for the next two T20Is. Jitesh had a good season for Punjab last year in the IPL, where he scored 234 in 12 outings with a strike rate of 163.63. He had often played the finisher’s role for the team and was one of the 16 players retained by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2023 auction.
Jitesh also had a superb 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Vidarbha, scoring 224 runs in ten games at a strike rate of 175.00.
The injury to Samson might provide an opportunity for Rahul Tripathi to make his debut. Tripathi has travelled with the squad for a while but is yet to get a game.
India lead the three-match series 1-0.
The second T20I will take place at MCA Stadium in Pune later today.