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.

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.