'Being an Indian cricketer is challenging' - Samson on World Cup race after impressive fifty
Sanju Samson seemed to have accepted fate that his opportunities will be limited and sporadic within the current Indian set-up but he has to be up and ready to pounce on them each time. The ever-elegant Indian backup middle-order player opened up on his spot in India's One-Day reckoning and hierarchy prior to the 2023 World Cup on home shores this winter.
Taking an understanding and pragmatic route of his situation within the set-up, Samson didn't take any aim at the selectors and the management, who have come up for constant criticism and faced accusations of mishandling the aggressive right-hander in limited-overs internationals. But did reveal his thought process, stating he realises being an Indian cricketer is extremely "challenging".
Samson missed out in Barbados in the second ODI after coming in at No.3 but produced a blistering half-century at No.4 in the series decider against the West Indies in Trinidad this Tuesday (August 1). The cricketer came out firing from the word go and smashed four sixes in his innings of 51 off 41 deliveries.
Whether that is good enough to keep him in contention for the Asia Cup and the World Cup when incumbents KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are likely to return remains to be seen. But the 28-year-old seems to have made friends with circumstances and is keen to focus on maximising each of his chances.
Samson on World Cup hopes, irregular chances
Speaking to the broadcasters in the mid-innings break after propelling the side to a daunting and match-winning 351/5 in Tarouba's Brian Lara Cricket Stadium, Sanju Samson also opened up on his philosophy towards the limited-overs game as he said he believes in focusing on the number of overs remaining and the situation he is walking into rather than a particular spot.
"Being an Indian cricketer is challenging, I have played domestic cricket for the last 8-9 years and for India, here and there, so it gives you a bit of understanding of playing in different positions. It is the number of overs you get and it is not about batting position so you have to prepare accordingly," Samson said.
"It feels really great to spend some time in the middle, score some runs and contribute for your country. I had different plans for different players, I wanted to use my feet and dominate the lengths of the bowlers," he added.
It reflects on the unprecedented depth Indian cricket currently operates in that Samson can't walk into an Indian 50-overs outfit when the first-choice players are fit and around. But the player hasn't been brooding over misfortune and has been enjoying his time out in the middle. Samson now averages 55.71 with an eye-catching strike-rate of 104 after 12 intermittent innings in ODIs for India.