Samson replaces Rahul in India's T20I squad for West Indies series

India face West Indies in a five-match T20I series starting on Friday

Sanju Samson brings up his maiden T20I half-century, Ireland vs India, 2nd T20I, Dublin, June 28, 2022

Sanju Samson brought up his maiden T20I half-century last month, having made his debut in the format in 2015  •  Sportsfile/Getty Images

Sanju Samson has replaced the Covid-struck KL Rahul in India's squad for the five-match T20I series against West Indies due to begin on Friday. Wicketkeeper-batter Samson was already on tour having been part of the ODI squad as well.
Rahul, India's first-choice opener in the shortest format, has been on the sidelines, recovering from surgery for a sports hernia, since the end of the IPL in May 2022. He was expected to be back in action for the T20Is against West Indies, but caught the virus and was advised a further period of rest.
India have plenty of top-order options available and have even begun experimenting with Rishabh Pant as opener alongside the captain Rohit Sharma.
Samson has played 14 T20Is for India spread across seven years. With his eye-catching strokeplay, he has always been on the fringes of the national squad, but has recently been getting a lot more chances, especially with several of the senior players being rotated out on account of workload management.
Samson was part of the team in Ireland last month, where he made his maiden T20I fifty. His strike rate of 132.39 over the course of 218 T20s is seen as an asset with India trying to play a more aggressive brand of cricket in preparation for the World Cup in Australia in October.