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It will be a massive responsibility to replace MS Dhoni in the Indian team: RR keeper-batsman Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson smashed a 32-ball 74 against MS Dhoni
Sanju Samson smashed a 32-ball 74 against MS Dhoni's CSK on Tuesday (Image Credits: India TV News)
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Modified 25 Sep 2020, 17:48 IST
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MS Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket has opened the door for young wicketkeeper-batsmen to find a place in the Indian team.

Rajasthan Royals (RR) star Sanju Samson is one of many aspiring for the role, and noted that the fierce competition would simply make him a better cricketer.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Samson heaped praise on MS Dhoni and said that it won’t be easy for anyone to plug the gaping hole that his retirement has left behind.

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“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,” said Sanju Samson.

Samson, who smashed 74 off 32 balls against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Tuesday, is hoping that a good IPL season will help him nail down a place in the Indian side.

After making his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in 2015, Sanju Samson has played on just three more occasions.

 “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,” said Sanju Samson.

Samosn played in two of the five T20Is on the New Zealand tour earlier this year but could manage just 10 runs playing as an opener.

The only other time he donned the India colors was in the series against Sri Lanka at home in January this year. However, Samson failed to capitalize on the opportunity, scoring a measly six runs.

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Playing for RR has made me flexible: Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson scored 10 runs in the two T20Is against New Zealand earlier this year (Image Credits: Outlook India)
Sanju Samson scored 10 runs in the two T20Is against New Zealand earlier this year (Image Credits: Outlook India)

The wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala made his IPL debut as an 18-year-old in 2013. He is in his seventh year now, and Samson is aware of his maturation over the years.

“You can say through the years I have matured a bit, gained good exposure and have had valuable experience. The understanding of my game and cricket overall have improved. I try to see the game through a different lens now... 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,” added the 25-year-old, who has scored 2,283 runs in 94 IPL matches.

Sanju Samson’s best season came in IPL 2018 when he smashed 441 runs at an impressive strike rate of 137.81.

He has gotten off to a great start in IPL 2020 and would be looking to emulate his previous successes to earn a national call-up once again.

Published 24 Sep 2020, 13:17 IST
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