howzaat with kr

Samson aims for ‘Royal’ success in 11th IPL

Coach George, who mentored him, feels Jaipur wicket will suit his batting style

18:55 April 8, 2018
Sanju Samson

Dubai: Sanju Samson, the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman, is all set to make full use of the 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) to underline his skills and find a permanent slot in the Indian team.

Coach Biju George, who mentored Samson from the age of 12, is confident that Samson will excel with Rajasthan Royals this season.

Speaking to Gulf News, George, who is also the India women’s team fielding coach, said: “He has always done well while batting on the Jaipur wickets. He is very happy with the Rajasthan Royals franchise and has prepared very well. He should do well. “Samson has been training and playing for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). He has also been working hard while in Thiruvananthapuram with Qfit Fitness Studio. He is very hard working and has always done well in the IPL,” added George.

Rajasthan is staging a comeback into the IPL following their two-year ban and take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their first match in Hyderabad on Monday. The team is delighted to have got Samson, who has been one of their consistent performers, back in their team.

Samson, who is a member of the exclusive club to reach 1,000 runs in the IPL, also expressed his delight at being back with Rajasthan.

“I am blessed to be back with Royals. This is a team known for its excitement and happiness and its players are known to be helpful to each other. I am delighted to be back in this team. Here no pressure is put on players to perform,” remarked Samson.

When Samson was asked what would his focus be during this IPL and whether he plans to use his performance to get the Indian team selectors notice him,” he said: “I’m concentrating on batting better as a cricketer; I really want to get better at what I am and improve my skills. Selection is not in my hand and hence I have stopped thinking in that direction.”

The 23-year-old Samson has played in only one T20 match for India against Zimbabwe in 2015. Coach Biju feels that Samson has worked hard on all his strokeplay. “He has all the strokes and hence is bound to play big knocks. All that he needs is to belief in himself,” said George.

Last November, Samson had hit three centuries in a row for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy. The appointment of Shane Warne as the mentor of the Rajasthan team has also excited Samson. “My excitement is all the more because I will be closely interacting with Warne. I will definitely be learning a lot from the veteran player,” he added.