Cricket IPL

MS Dhoni’s success gives extra motivation: Sanju Samson on emerging from place with ‘no cricketing history’

Ranchi is no Mumbai or Delhi when it comes to cricketing history. Seeing MS Dhoni come from a city not known for its cricket and dominate at the highest level is certainly a big motivation for people from such cities who are aspiring to achieve success at the international level, according to young wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson.

Sanju Samson, who hails from Kerala, a football-loving state, has managed to make heads turn across the globe with his natural ability.

25-year-old Samson, who is in the mix for the India wicketkeeper-role in limited-overs, has said MS Dhoni proved to be an inspiration right from his early days in international cricket. Samson’s comments come after Dhoni retired from international cricket on August 15.

“Yes, Dhoni bhai has inspired all of us from the day he came to play for India in the first match against Bangladesh and then scored that famous century against Pakistan,” Samson told Gulf News.

” His success provides extra motivation for me as he came from Ranchi to become one of the all time greats of the game while I hail from Kerala – both places no cricketing history,” he said.”

Dhoni will continue to represent Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but his absence from the international scene puts the spotlight on the likes of Samson and Rishabh Pant who are battling for spots in the senior national team.

I am heading in the right direction: Samson

Samson played for India in January 2020, 5 years after he made his international debut. The Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman failed to impress in the opportunities he got during the home series against Sri Lanka and in the tour of New Zealand. With Rishabh Pant also flattering to deceive, KL Rahul sealed the wicketkeeper’s role in T20Is.

However, Samson believes he is headed in the right direction and doesn’t look to replace anyone in the senior national team.

”No, I don’t think of replacing anybody, all of us are trying to win matches for the country at the end of the day. I am just focusing on ultimately playing for my country,” Samson said.

“I have had a very good season in 2019 in domestic, India A and then for India. I have worked hard for the last 8-9 years in terms of my training, game and diet.

“At this point, I have a good 10 more years of cricket left in me and I will give it my best shot. I am headed in the right direction but have miles to go.”

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Cricket IPL

MS Dhoni’s calmness was ‘insane’, wanted to play some more cricket with him: KL Rahul

Stylish India batsman KL Rahul is currently in UAE and all set to lead the Kings XI Punjab team in IPL 2020. The whole of Punjab and his franchise owners will be hoping for the star wicketkeeper-batsman to put his hand on the coveted trophy on November 10 and be the first one from the team to do so in IPL’s 13 year history.

KL Rahul has earlier expressed his happiness on being appointed as the captain of the franchise and added that it’s the dream of every player to lead his team. KL Rahul had starred for Ravichandran Ashwin-led Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2019 and ended up scoring 593 runs, the second-highest by any batsman after David Warner, who amassed 692 runs. Ashwin has moved to Delhi Capitals for this season.

Recently, on being asked about the lessons he learnt from former India captain MS Dhoni while playing with him for the country, KL Rahul said that the calmness of the now retired cricketer was the trait he took inspiration from. Rahul added that he has learnt about passion from Virat Kohli and backing up one’s players from Rohit Sharma, the Indian team vice-captain and Mumbai Indians captain.

KL Rahul revealed that he was emotional like rest of the country after MS Dhoni’s retirement. He described MS Dhoni’s calmness by calling it “insane” and said that his presence was “valuable” for the dressing room. Rahul also admitted that he wanted to play some more international cricket with Dhoni.

“Yes, yes. Dhoni’s calmness and belief showed in backing players who had the potential to be match winners. Virat’s passion in the way he leads, the way he wants the boys to be better and better. Rohit always plays with a passion and backs players.

“Like the rest of the country I too was emotional, we all would have wanted to play some more cricket with him. As I said, his calmness was insane and valuable in the dressing room,” KL Rahul told The Indian Express.

The 28-year-old has recently donned the gloves for Indian in limited overs cricket despite Rishabh Pant being in the team. Asked if he expects more opportunities behind the stump in the absence of MS Dhoni, KL Rahul said he will do whatever the team needs him to do.

KL Rahul also hinted at taking the wicketkeeping duties at KXIP as “one gets a full 360-degree view from the spot”. However, he added that KXIP has many players, who can don the gloves.

I enjoyed whatever challenge was thrown at me for the last seven-eight months. Be it playing a different role or to bat at any position. Whatever the team needs me to do, I will do it.

Yes, I will love to do wicketkeeping. We have so many options of wicketkeeper-batsmen, if I feel I need more time or need to be on the field to manage. Standing behind the stumps is a good way to do it as one gets a full 360-degree view, it’s easy to know what is happening. It’s a good place to be.

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