Sanju Samson was effervescent in his praise for MS Dhoni and stated that the former Indian skipper was one of the finest brains in world cricket. The Kerala wicket-keeper batsman has further stated that he learnt how to be smart as well as calm on the face of tough situations during a cricket match.
A consistent performer in the Indian Premier League, Sanju Samson’s rise and fall have been well documented but he has never left the psyche. So much so that, he returned to the side once again late last year and might hold to the spot for the time being. Despite his elevation, he has not been the keeper for the Indian side, with Rahul doing the job now after the spot became a merry-go-round of sorts post MS Dhoni’s unconfirmed exile from the side after the 2019 World Cup.
Samson, for the brief stint he had with the Indian skipper after making his T20I debut in 2015 under MS Dhoni, had always been open in his admiration for the man from Jharkhand and how he has been a huge influence in his growth as a cricketer. Samson now added that Dhoni’s smart and calm handling of the tough situations was an education in itself.
"I learnt a lot from Mahi Bhai. Even if you watch two matches of him playing on the TV, you can learn a lot of things from him. He has been one of the smartest brains in world cricket. If you see how he (Dhoni) manages his innings, how his temper is, how he changes his batting style as per the situation and formats and lots and lots of things, it is incredible. The one thing I learnt from Mahi Bhai is how to be a smart cricketer. He is smart, as well as calm in tough situations. So that's what I have learned from him," the wicket-keeper batsman told TimesofIndia.com.
Coming in at No.7 in his debut game against Zimbabwe, Samson scored 19 off 24 balls, before being dismissed by Chris Mpofu. That performance, coupled with the rise of Rishabh Pant, ensured that Samson was out of the national reckoning for four more years. Speaking about the gap, Samson added that those times were very important in his career and life.
"I made my debut in 2015 against Zimbabwe. Then I got a big space where I spent around four to five seasons playing IPL and playing domestic cricket. I think those times were very important in my career and life. Those five years have been really important to me. I changed my game accordingly and then I tried to excel. The base has been made in these five years."
“I think mentally I've been very strong and I have realised what type of person I am and what type of a cricketer I am. I have understood my strengths and weaknesses in these five years. So, I used it to build myself to an international standard where I can play and perform and win matches for the Indian team. So, that's how I consider these years,” Samson added.