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India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I: Sanju Samson out, Ruturaj Gaikwad or Rahul Tripathi may get in | Cricket News


Jitesh Sharma to join squad as Sanju’s replacement
PUNE: In a series of debuts, another player could get India cap at the MCA Stadium in Gahunje on Thursday.
Middle-order batter Rahul Tripathi would be keen to finally shed his passenger’s tag at his home ground as Sanju Samson is ruled out of the series after getting injured in the first match in Mumbai.

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Samson had hurt his knee while fielding in the opening match at Wankhede. It was learnt that the Kerala batter has not travelled to Pune with the team and has got scans done in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Vidarbha wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma has been called as Samson’s replacement and will join the team in Pune, but as far as the second T20I is concerned, Tripathi, who has been travelling with the team and has been part of the T20 and ODI set-up since 13 matches and five series, is likely to be in the XI.
While Tripathi will be a slot-specific replacement, another local player vying for inclusion is top-order batter Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Although he averages 16. 87 in nine T20Is, Gaikwad’s candidature is backed by six hundreds in domestic white-ball cricket recently. Also, his experience of playing at the Gahunje ground could be a thing of discussion. With Samson already out, Hardik Pandya and coach Rahul Dravid will not look to make further changes to their batting line-up, despite opener Shubman Gill having a forgettable debut at Wankhede.
Gill, who scored seven in the last match, will try to make amends, and make the most of the opportunity that has come his way in the absence of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.
If Gaikwad, and not Tripathi, gets to play on Thursday, the Pune batter will have to play at No. 3 or later.
It appears business will be usual for the bowlers, especially for Shivam Mavi, another debutant at Wankhede, and J&K pacer Umran Malik. While Mavi will try to build onto his 4-22, Malik will have to practise caution with his pace at the traditional batting-friendly strip of Gahunje.
India and Sri Lanka have both won one game each at this venue.



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