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Sanju Samson Reflects on His Path to T20 World Cup Call-Up and Spectacular IPL Season

Rajasthan Royals skipper and Indian wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson has recently opened up about his journey to earning a spot in India’s T20 World Cup squad, acknowledging that his remarkable IPL season was instrumental in achieving this milestone. Samson, who has had a modest T20 international career with an average of 18.7 over 22 innings, faced considerable competition for the wicketkeeper role. With Rishabh Pant making a strong comeback after a 14-month hiatus, the availability of the second wicketkeeper spot intensified as other notable contenders including KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Jitesh Sharma also vied for the position.

Despite the stiff competition, Samson proved his mettle by delivering the best season of his career while leading the Rajasthan Royals. He amassed 531 runs with an average of 48 and an impressive strike rate of 153. Before the T20 World Cup squad was announced, Samson’s performance metrics were even more astounding. He had scored 385 runs in just nine innings, boasting an average of 77 and a strike rate of 161. One of his most memorable performances came against the Lucknow Super Giants, where he led his team to chase down a target of 197 after being precariously placed at 78/3, scoring 71* off 33 balls. The manner in which he architected his innings and guided his team to victory captured widespread admiration.

Speaking to Star Sports about his unexpected selection for the T20 World Cup, a visibly emotional Samson recounted his experience. “It was very emotional. It was something which I didn’t expect much, to be very honest. I knew that I was not very close to being selected. I knew that I had to do something really special in this IPL to get there,” he revealed. To focus intently on his game, Samson shared that he decided to disconnect from distractions. “That’s where I decided, I have to put my phone away.

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. I think I am totally cut out from my phone. My phone is off for the last two to three months. I have to completely focus on my game.”

Determined to seize this opportunity, Samson acknowledged the importance of giving his utmost to his performance, both for the benefit of his IPL team and his prospects of joining the Indian squad for the World Cup. “I have to completely give myself the best chance to go out there and perform and win games for my team, so that it can help me get into the Indian team for the World Cup. Getting selected to the world’s best T20 team, and that also for a World Cup, actually deserves something special,” he added.

Sanju Samson’s dedication indeed paid off, as he recorded his first 500-plus run season in the IPL. Although Rishabh Pant remains the preferred first-choice wicketkeeper, Samson’s stellar form and adaptability have instilled confidence that he can step up whenever called upon by the team. The journey of Sanju Samson is not just a testament to his individual brilliance but also a story of perseverance and strategic focus.

The cricketer’s relentless pursuit of excellence in a highly competitive environment underscores the resolve required to make a mark at the highest level of the sport. With seasoned players like KL Rahul and promising talents like Ishan Kishan in contention, securing a spot was undeniably a daunting challenge. Yet, Samson managed to carve out his niche through sheer performance and steely composure. His performance in critical matches demonstrated his ability to handle pressure and deliver when it mattered the most, further strengthening his case for inclusion in the national side.

Samson’s narrative also brings to light the evolving dynamics within the Indian cricket team, where performances in high-stake tournaments like the IPL are increasingly becoming benchmarks for national selection. His approach towards achieving his goals—by eliminating distractions and focusing on his strengths—is a valuable lesson for aspiring cricketers and sports professionals.

Therefore, while Sanju Samson’s journey to the T20 World Cup squad may have surprised many, it was built on a foundation of exceptional performance, unwavering focus, and a clear understanding of the competitive standards required to excel in international cricket. His story adds another chapter to the rich legacy of Indian cricket, where talent, hard work, and a bit of luck converge to create moments of glory.