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Sanju Samson won his maiden call into the Indian team following impressive performances for India A and in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. Samson thus becomes the third cricketer from Kerala to walk into the Indian team. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about the importance of Samson’s selection.
It was a moment Sanju Samson had been waiting for. The youngster from Kerala, who plays with a dash of fearlessness, has been picked for the Indian One-Day International (ODI) squad for the tour of England following some impressive performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and for India A. There was always the inevitability to Samson’s selection. Though he was destined to be picked for India, very few would have imagined that the opportunity would arrive so soon.
It was during the IPL 2013 that Samson made a name for himself with some breathtaking strokeplay. The ash of youth always has this uncanny bravery. Against bowlers, with big reputations, Samson played with gay abandon and smashed the ball around the park. On the odd occasion, he also walked across his stumps, trying to cart it behind the wicket. The length deliveries played on the rise were proof of his good eye and immense talent. He is one player who backs his instincts and is very positive.
Samson has a very cool head on his shoulders. Though this young Indian generation has this rare exuberance about them, Samson is quiet and soft-spoken. All his aggression is channelized in his strokes on the field of play. Any expression of anger would ultimately feature in his strokes. Whether it is picking a ball on a length or smashing it across the line, Samson has the confidence to take on any bowler in the tournament. In Australia, he shined for the India A and was their leading run-scorer in the Quadrangular series.
During the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014, Samson stood out due to various factors. When compared to the other youngsters, he seemed a lot more mature and in control of things. Even when things got tough, he was often in control of his emotions and maintained his composure. In conversation with this writer at the end of the tournament, he very philosophically said that cricket ultimately teaches you to deal with failure and move on with life. With such an attitude, this boy was destined to make it big.
Though there are a lot of hopes on Samson’s shoulders from the cricketing community at large, one has to talk about the place he hails from. Samson would become the third cricketer from Kerala to represent India when he gets a game. They had Tinu Yohannan, who came and went in a year’s time. Though S Sreesanth had a few memorable moments, many would talk about the allegations that have surfaced around him. In Samson, Kerala have found a cricketer on whom they can pin their cricketing ambitions.
As he walks into the international arena though, Samson wouldn’t take the pressure. That is how he is! That is how he should be if he is to succeed at the highest level.
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