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I bat according to the situation: Samson

18-year-old ‘keeper-batsman talks about his role in the RR line-up

Coming in at the crucial No.3 position, wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has knocked half-centuries in two of the three matches in the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2013. The 18-year-old, who made his presence felt in the Indian Premier League earlier this year, has been performing consistently since for the Royals and India Under-19.

Although they were chasing a subpar total against the Perth Scorchers, Samson contributed 50 runs and took the team across the line along with Ajinkya Rahane. Keen to perform, the youngster is eager to assume responsibility and adapt to whatever role he is required to play during his team’s quest to earn the CLT20 trophy.

While speaking to clt20.com, Samson discussed his role, learning about wicketkeeping from Dishant Yagnik and being a part of the Royals franchise.

Excerpts form his interview:

Having been promoted up the batting order, what exactly is your role?

The role varies according to the situation of the match. In this match I wanted to stay at the wicket and I decided I will not lose my wicket and finish the match for my team. In every match I have different roles, so I just try to act accordingly.

What is your favourite batting position?

Anywhere where my team wants me to bat, I am happy to bat. But generally, top of the order – one-down.

Small totals can be tricky sometimes

Yes, of course. In cricket we can never say what is going to happen next. So I just wanted to act according to the situation. We needed to keep wickets in hand, and luckily we played our good shots and runs came through them.

What was Ajinkya Rahane’s advice while batting?

He just told me to keep a positive intent and play my shots.

You performed well in the IPL and then followed up with good knocks for the India Under-19 team as well and you are now having a good time in the middle too. How has the season panned out so far?

I have been playing lots of matches and it has been a great opportunity for me to play on big stages like this. So I am enjoying it and looking forward to doing well in all the matches that I get.

Does wicketkeeping give you a better understanding of the wicket when you come in to bat?

Of course, we get a good idea while standing behind the wickets. And I have been lucky to have a partner like Dishant Yagnik in the team. He has been very supportive and we have been practicing together in the nets, so it has been great working with him and I have learned a lot from him. And it has been good ‘keeping.

He has been telling me a few things in the nets and the practice sessions. We do drills together.

Can you share an example?

He wanted me to stay down in a crouched position and always see the ball till the end.

Any tips from your captain, Rahul Dravid, who at one point also kept for India?

No (Smiles). He just says enjoy the cricket.

What difference has being part of RR made to you?

I have always been saying that it has been a dream team for me. Since I have joined the team, I feel very lucky each and every day when I go with the team. The presence of Rahul Sir, Shane Watson, Paddy Upton is great. So I am enjoying a lot and like to be with this team.

What is it like for an 18-year-old like you to share the stage with a 42-year-old like Pravin Tambe?

It feels great to see people like Pravin Bhai, who is doing great at this age. The respect for him always increases. Team management knows that age doesn’t matter in this game and have been supporting each and everyone in the team.

What are your thoughts on your next opponents, Otago Volts?

We look at all teams as same. Everyone is tough. So we just look at the opposition and try to give 100 percent in every match.

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