MS Dhoni might play this match only as batsman and ask  Sanju Samson to keep wicket © Getty Images
MS Dhoni might play this match only as batsman and ask Sanju Samson to keep wickets © Getty Images

A loss in the final One-Day International (ODI) notwithstanding, India managed to win the series quite comfortably against England. Their 3-1 victory in the ODIs does not quite make up for their abject Test surrender, but at least India have tasted victory and do not return home a broken team. The inclusion of the likes of Sanju Samson and Karn Sharma would be a refreshing change. Shiamak Unwalla feels that the pair ought to get a game before they leave Old Blighty.

Like it or hate it, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the breeding ground for T20 cricket in India. While the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is the official domestic T20 competition in India, the very fact that as many as four IPL teams are a part of the Champions League T20 (CLT20), which will begin later this month, tells the tale of which tournament gets more prominence.

However, before the hoopla of the CLT20, India play England in a one-off T20 at Edgbaston. After two gruelling months of high quality cricket — first from England, then from India — the tour is likely to end not with a bang, but whimper. That being said, the lone T20I will be the ideal opportunity to play youngsters Sanju Samson and Karn Sharma.

The reasons for this are simple; MS Dhoni sported a bandage on his right hand during the post-match interviews after the fifth ODI, and by the looks of it he could take a rest, if not from playing then at least from keeping wickets. Samson was one of the most exciting young players of IPL seven, and did quite well in the Triangular “A” series Down Under recently. The fact that he is in the squad at all suggests that the selectors consider him a prospect for the ICC World Cup 2015. Why not try him out for a nigh-inconsequential game to blood him in to the rigours of International cricket?

With both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin having an excellent time in the ODI series, England did their reputation of struggling against spin no harm. Karn will be a good inclusion, if just for a backup option for Dhoni. Again, the fact that he has been selected ahead of Amit Mishra means that he is a contender for a spot in the 30 probables. It would make sense for him to play a bit before the big selection, and playing in a format he is quite comfortable in will help his cause.

India will want to leave England on a positive note, and having won the ODI series, will look to wrap up the T20 as well. Samson and Karn would love to get a game and contribute in any way they can, and if they get a game, they will be that much closer to finding a spot in the magical list of 30 probable members.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time)