While the likes of Rahul Dravid and Gautam Gambhir have time and again praised the talent he possesses, critics have often said that consistency is an issue with Sanju Samson. And with head coach Ravi Shastri making it clear that the spot of a batsman who can keep is still open for the World T20 in Australia next year, the question on everyone’s mind is if Samson can be the answer.
Speaking after finding a place in India T20I squad as a replacement for injury Shikhar Dhawan, Samson stated that while he is open to keeping wickets, consistency isn’t something that he loses sleep over. For the 25-year-old, it is more about playing match-winning knocks and seeing his team finish on top than personal glory.
“I have never thought of that (consistency) as an issue. What I have understood is that I am a bit different type of a player where I just feel that I should go and dominate the bowlers. So, when I have a style and I am looking to dominate the bowlers, it can happen if I go behind consistency, I will lose my style of batting. I don’t want to change my style of playing to bring in consistency.
“I like to keep things as simple as possible and when I get the opportunity I look to score big. If I get five innings, I want to score big in one or two innings and win matches for my team. Consistency in my innings won’t win matches for my team. It is more important to play an outstanding innings to win my team games. I go behind that kind of idea,” he explained.
Coming to the next most important aspect — keeping wickets. Samson says that he has never shied away from the responsibility and it is the team management which makes those calls.
“I have been keeping wickets in white-ball cricket for Kerala for the last five or six years and have also kept in the Ranji Trophy format. I keep that as an open thing. Whatever my team requires, I do it accordingly. In the IPL, whenever my team wanted me to keep I did. But they at time felt I could contribute more on the field, so I did that. I prepare for myself both as a keeper and fielder because you never know what the team is looking at,” he pointed.
So, it isn’t true that he doesn’t like donning the big gloves? “Absolutely not. It is not true. I can’t explain every time to everyone what is happening in the team management. I am a keeper and when my team wants me to keep, I do that and when they ask me to field I do that. I can’t tell the team what I want to do right? The team is the priority,” he said.
In fact, Samson says that he wants to sit down with coach Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli and speak about the road ahead. “I am looking forward to this as I haven’t got an opportunity to do that. I am looking forward to go and speak to them,” he revealed.
Has pressure of expectation actually worked against the youngster? The Kerala batsman says that he never really gives these things too much importance.
“I respect people’s opinions, but I don’t allow that to get into my mind. I understand that people do have their opinion and want to share that, but I also know that I am the best person to know what I want to do. My biggest strength is the clarity of thought that I have about my game and I like to keep it simple,” he said.
Is the flight to Australia then the goal? Samson says winning the trophy is.
“The dream is to win the World T20 for India in Australia. I am training for that, not to be a part of the team. I want to win the World Cup for my country and that is the standard I set for myself and that is how I plan my work ethics. Definitely the dream is to win the trophy as it has been a while since we won one and I would definitely want to have some quality contributions in the process. That is the dream and I am working towards it,” he signed off.
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