Samson will look to replicate his IPL form in the upcoming domestic season    Getty Images
Samson will look to replicate his IPL form in the upcoming domestic season Getty Images

Sanju Samson has impressed one and all with his prowess with the bat. However, the last season bore mixed results for the Kerala batsman. From a dip in form in the Ranji Trophy to addressing the knee issue to disciplinary issues with Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) and then finally returning to form in IPL 10, Samson has seen it all. The wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala had a terrific season with the bat as he ended the tournament as Delhi Daredevils (DD) highest run-getter with 386 runs against his name.

With the new season about to begin, Samson is leaving no stone unturned and is focusing hard on the pre-season preparations under new coach Dav Whatmore. He recently opened up on his performance in the season gone by and plans for the upcoming season. I had struggled with my fitness last season. Since the matches were being played in neutral venues, we had to travel a lot and it would take a toll on my body. And I would end up not making the right decisions in pressure situations. So this year, I ve already started working on my fitness, Samson told Times of India.

Samson also revealed how working with Rahul Dravid, during the IPL, helped him find his form back. Last year, I wanted to perform desperately. There was too much expectation from me and it bogged me down. It limited my approach as I was thinking a lot and making things complicated. So I got frustrated. At the start of IPL 10, I worked with Rahul Dravid (Delhi Daredevils mentor) and things started to fall in place. He told me to play with freedom and forget about the results. So instead of thinking about scoring big, I kept a check on my expectations and focused on contributing in every way. I started expressing more and took risks and it all paid off, he added.

The youngster also knows that his IPL performances will not guarantee him a place in the senior team and understands the importance of performing well in the domestic circuit. I have realised that doing well in IPL doesn t guarantee a berth in the Indian side. You need to perform consistently in the domestic season and be in a good shape if you want to get selected in the Indian side. That s what I am aiming for, said Samson.

With players like Rishabh Pant and others already in the queue for the wicket-keeping role, Samson says he is preparing as a fielder in addition to keeping. Surprisingly Samson did not keep wickets this IPL, which he said it was something he did not expect. I had focused on wicket-keeping a lot during my initial years. But nowadays, I have been asked to field as well. I never knew I would be fielding in IPL this season. So it is crucial that I prepare as a fielder in addition to keeping. I need to be prepared for all situations, he said.