Following his match-winning knock against CSK, Sanju Samson has admitted that he would be like to be back in the Indian mix but shushed it by revealing its too early to talk about it. He also stated that the competition for wicketkeeper slot just motivates him and forces him to improve.
Since MS Dhoni was last seen in action against New Zealand in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Indian selectors had a tough decision to make in terms of choosing the next wicketkeeper. While Delhi’s Rishabh Pant got the nod, owing to the immense form he showed in the IPL, his batting in the international scene withered away, giving an opportunity to KL Rahul to cement the position.
Despite the Bengaluru man showcasing his brilliance, both behind the stumps and with the bat, his position as the wicketkeeper-batsman will solely depend on this IPL season with Kings XI Punjab. Meanwhile, miles away from Punjab, Sanju Samson with Rajasthan Royals too, is trying to impress the selectors with his sizzling batting display. In just the first game, Samson tore the CSK bowlers to the tiniest of pieces and looked like a man possessed, with no rustiness whatsoever. However, the RR wicketkeeper admitted that he isn’t thinking about a return to the Indian team at the moment but would love to be there.
“It’s a massive T20 tournament with quality bowlers in every team, most of whom are regular international players. I want to score runs in every tournament I play. The IPL standard is high and a good season will be a great boost. I have been with the Indian team and it was a great experience. I would for sure like to be there again, but right now I am not thinking too far ahead,” he told HT in an exclusive interview.
“Playing with RR has helped a lot, made me flexible. I have batted in several positions—opened, come one drop, kept wicket as well as fielded. That really helps in adjusting according to the team’s demand,” he added.
It all boils down to people’s expectations as well, with them trying to gauge these young stars with MS Dhoni, who has excelled for India behind the wickets. Despite the huge expectations, Samson admitted that the competition between players forces an improvement from the youngsters. In hindsight, he reckons that it will benefit Indian cricket, having a steady pool of wicketkeepers in good shape and form.
“They’re big shoes to fill. He’s set the benchmark so high for keepers around the world, in terms of keeping skills and finishing abilities with the bat. Every country hopes their wicketkeeper can somehow turn out to be like Dhoni. In India, we have some really good wicketkeeper-batsmen. There is healthy competition both in the India side and domestically.”
“Whoever comes in knows what a massive responsibility it is. (The choices) is a good headache for the team to have. For me, it’s a good position to be in because the competition forces you to improve. It will benefit the team in the long run, to have players on top of their game at all times,” he added.