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India hail Samson as ‘Super’ and ‘Dynamite’

Cricket followers question as to why this aggressive batsman has played only one T20I match

19:50 April 16, 2018
Sanju Samson

Mumbai: Aggressive batting is often the reflection of a cricketer’s thinking. No doubt that the perfection of timing a stroke comes through practice, but to execute the strokes at the right time is extremely important. Sanju Samson’s unbeaten 92 for Rajasthan Royals studded with ten sixes and only two fours is the current talking point in India.

Discussions are also on as to why Samson has played only one T20 International match despite such enormous talent.

But Samson has never allowed the repeated disregard for his talent affect his game. Today’s newspapers in India are flooded with headlines calling him ‘Super Samson’ and ‘Dynamite Samson’.

When Gulf News contacted his coach Biju George to get a peek into the factors behind Samson’s ability to dispatch the ball over the boundary with such ease, he pointed out, “Timing, fitness and not over-hitting…all gained through hours of practice.”

Additionally, Samson’s thinking has a lot to do with his ability to play such aggressive knocks. Despite not being rewarded for his talents and not considered as the first replacement for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s slot as wicketkeeper, he makes it a point not to get affected by it. It is unfortunate that, in India, if a player keeps performing in a particular format, he is often labelled as a specialist only for that format. All that Samson did was to use his opportunities in the IPL to score heavily and become the youngest cricketer to reach 1000 runs in the IPL.

Last November he hit three centuries in a row for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy as an answer to those who consider him good only as Twenty20 batsman. Hailing from Kerala, where until recently cricket was not much of a culture, has always made it difficult for a player to make it to the Indian team. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who did it despite hailing from this state, unfortunately crashed due to his lack of personal control. Today Samson is not only Kerala’s new hero but also their hope.

Sometimes, an additional skill could work against a cricketer. Like Samson, who is also a wicketkeeper, he is normally considered as a wicketkeeper-batsman only. It is strange why he cannot be considered purely for his batting skills! Samson has also taken some spectacular catches as a fielder when he hasn’t kept wickets.

This fine batsman, who is vying for Dhoni’s slot in all forms of the game, also has many qualities like him. He bats with great calm like Dhoni and is equally capable of executing those powerful shots demolishing any attack.

In cricket, it is not the timing of a shot alone that plays a big role; but the occasion to display one’s talent is equally vital. On Sunday, Samson hit the knock before India’s skipper Virat Kohli. In fact, his game upstaged Kohli’s breezy half century and forced the Indian skipper to remark that Samson has a simple game and is a fine talent. It’s time selectors stop using the excuse that Samson is only a Twenty20 player or that there is no wicketkeeper’s slot vacant. Today the whole of India has called Samson a ‘super’ batsman and a ‘dynamite’ that can destroy any bowling through his sheer batting prowess.