MUMBAI: The now-on-now-off career of Sanju Samson has taken another beating after he was pulled out of the India ‘A’ tour of England. The Kerala cricketer has failed the Yo-Yo test and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decreed that the 23-year-old cannot travel.
The Shreyas Iyer-led side is understood to have left for London from Delhi on Sunday but Samson was left behind in India. There was no immediate information on his score in the Yo-Yo test – the new benchmark for fitness for Indian players – but Mirror has learnt that Samson has fallen way short of the prescribed 16.1 mark.
Samson has been highly regarded by Indian experts, particularly by Rahul Dravid, the current coach of the ‘A’ team. Dravid had also provided immense exposure to Samson at Delhi Daredevils when he was the coach of the team but Samson has failed his mentor too.
Sources in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore have revealed that Samson appeared for the fitness test three days ago along with other England-bound ‘A’ team players. Unconfirmed reports say he had a few niggles because of which he could not train well, resulting in the low Yo-Yo score.
At the time of going to print and the team’s departure, a replacement has not been named but it is likely that reinforcement will be sent to England in a few days. The young wicketkeepers, who have done well in the IPL and the Vijay Hazare Trophy, could be considered. MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors, could not be contacted. Samson too could not be reached as well as Dravid, who evidently was on the flight. Rishabh Pant is the designated keeper in the squad.
Samson was part of the white-ball ‘A’ side which will take part in a triangular series involving hosts England Lions with the third team being West Indies ‘A’. The one-day tri-series is followed by three ‘A’ Tests in July for which Samson was not picked. That side is led by Karun Nair and the designated wicketkeeper in that squad is KS Bharat.
Meanwhile, as reported by this paper on June 9, the India senior players, who will be part of the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Bangalore from June 14, are undergoing the Yo-Yo tests and initial information is that no one has failed. Fitness tests for a few more players are still to be done and will be held on June 15 and 16 for the ODI and T20I squads bound for Ireland and England.