I have stopped thinking about selection, says Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson played his first and only game for India a couple of months before Rishabh Pant's first-class debut. Since then, Pant has played 24 FC games for Delhi, played the U-19 World Cup under Ishan Kishan, played three seasons of the IPL, made his Team India debut, and is now playing his debut Test series, in England.
"I have stopped thinking about the selection because when you think about it, your mind is not in the match and you are not in the right frame of mind".
Samson has been on the fringes of national selection ever since bursting onto the scene for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and having racked up the runs for Kerala in domestic cricket, but three years on, he hasn't added a single India cap to his tally.
Part of the India A side, after having missed out on the junior team's tour to England due to a failed yo-yo test, Samson averaged over 50 in the Ranji last season, and was in good nick in the IPL this year, scoring three fifties.
"Not only this season, the last three-four seasons has been important for me. Personally, I am happy the way I have improved as batsmen and a wicket-keeper. Now, I also react well to different situations. Before, I used to play my natural game, but now, I am trying to read the situation and what the team demands", Samson said, while speaking to the media after his side's four-wicket loss to South Africa A in the Quadrangular series.
The 23-year-old, touted to be a bright wicketkeeping prospect for India, admitted that there was pressure whenever he walks out to bat.
"Obviously, there is pressure when you walk into bat, to think about inside the ground, rather than what is happening outside the ground".
Part of the 2014 U-19 World Cup team, Samson has been playing first-class games since he was 16 years old. Syed Kirmani, the World Cup-winning wicketkeeper, had recently said that Samson and Pant both should be groomed in the domestic circuit because youngsters seem to lose their way.
While speaking about his chances in the future, Samson was quick to admit that while the tendency to think about selection could crop up outside the ground, the performance is all that matters at the end.
"You tend to think about the selections when you are outside the ground, generally your mind goes into that. If you perform well, you are almost there. If I have a good season, there might be a chance", Samson said.
"It is important to forget all that and enjoy every game you play and keep performing in each and every match", he added.