Learning to control my emotions while batting, like Dhoni: Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson plays a shot during the 4th T20 international between India and New Zealand in Wellington.
The highly-rated wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson said he has learnt to accept his failures in pursuit of the calm demeanour that former India captain MS Dhoni possesses.


The 25-year-old from Kerala has always been talked about by the likes of Rahul Dravid and Gautam Gambhir but it hasn't translated into international success with only four T20 Internationals in his kitty in the last five years.


"I have learnt to understand and focus more on my strengths and (be more) accepting (of) the failures. I try to contribute to the team's cause and try to take the team over the line. I am learning to focus and control my emotions while batting like MS Dhoni," Samson said during a podcast organised by Rajasthan Royals. 

Samson has scored 2,209 runs in 93 matches in the IPL. His performances in the IPL and in domestic cricket have led to him becoming one of the frontrunners for the wicketkeeper's position in the Indian limited overs side in the run-up to the 2020 T20 World Cup.

 He recently made a comeback in India's T20 side and it was a worthy experience for him.


"It was great to be a part of the Indian team again. To be a part of one of the best teams in the world, surrounded by players like Virat bhai, it was a fantastic experience," Samson said.


In one of the games in New Zealand, Samson was sent to bat in the Super Over, something which made him feel wanted in the Indian set-up. 


"It was a great feeling to be trusted by the players such as Virat bhai to go out there and bat in the crucial moments. It's a great feeling when the team and the players consider you to be a match winner."


'Dream come true'


Wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson's first year with his Indian Premier League (IPL) side Rajasthan Royals was also the last year that former India captain Rahul Dravid led the side. Samson said that it felt like a "dream come true" when Dravid first asked him if he wanted to join the squad.


"Rahul bhai and Zubin Bharucha (RR Head of Cricket) were taking trials for Rajasthan Royals," said Samson in a conversation with RR spin consultant and New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi for the franchise's podcast.


"I played a really good knock there, at the end of the second day, Rahul bhai came to me and asked 'Would you play for my team?' It was like a dream for me, to have Rahul bhai come and ask me to play for him.


"At the IPL also I didn't play the first six games. I would always talk to him and other senior players like (Shane) Watson, (Brad) Hodge and learn from them. Even today if I call him and ask for help, he's always there to help me."



Samson reveals origin of Steve Smith's nickname


On a lighter note, Samson revealed that he refers to Steve Smith as "chachu" (uncle) after Brad Hodge once started calling him by that name.


"I share a very good relationship with 'Chachu' Steve Smith. He is one of the best brains in world cricket and we all enjoy a lot playing under him."


Samson said: "It started with Brad Hodge, he used to call Smith 'Chachu', then when Hodgy left, I started calling Smith 'Chachu'. In return Smith also started calling me 'Chachu'. We both really enjoy and continue calling each other that."


While Dhoni is his idol, he also loves watching Jos Buttler in Royals and makes notes on how the star Englishman prepares for games.


"I observe Jos especially given he too is a wicketkeeper-batsman. He's always working on his skills and his game and never sits idle. He's either working on his keeping, batting in the nets or running around the park. I love to observe and know how he thinks and prepares as a keeper before a game, “ he said.

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