With the international retirement of MS Dhoni, a spot in Indias limited-overs outfits is up for grabs. There are several contenders who will audition for the role in the UAE, including KL Rahul who has been keeping wickets for India in recent T20Is.
Other candidates who will want to make a big impression on the selectors are young Rishabh Pant and Rajasthan Royals Sanju Samson.
With more than 2,000 IPL runs under his belt, Samson has made the T20 tournament a springboard for international aspirations.
The Kerala wicketkeeper-batsmans exploits in the past earned him a maiden India T20I appearance against Zimbabwe in 2015. He had to wait a few years to add to that cap before his IPL 2019 showings with the Royals paved the path for a recall last year. Since then, he has added three more India appearances against the likes of Sri Lanka and New Zealand, although he has failed to make an impression in these matches.
With two back-to-back T20I World Cups to come in 2021 and 2022, the 25-year-old will be hoping to make it big when Rajasthan open their IPL campaign on September 22.
It will be a very important season for me, the Royals star toldSport360.
As far as selection for the Indian team goes, I do want to play for India and its always a great emotion playing for the country. However, the selection is something that is not in my hand, the only thing in my hand is my own performance which is where my focus lies.
Currently, I am thinking only about the IPL and nothing else. Im taking one match at a time and not thinking too far ahead right now, just focusing on contributing for Rajasthan Royals in the coming months.
2019 was a fruitful season for Samson, with the right-handed batsman even managing to register an unbeaten ton against Sunrisers Hyderabad. There were several other promising starts from the Royals players, although he was unable to convert either of them into a fifty or hundred.
Its always disappointing to not be able to convert good starts into big scores. I felt I had good starts in certain matches last season and shouldve kicked on from there, he said.
But thats how the game is, bygones are bygones. I am now looking forward to this season and scoring runs and contributing to the teams cause.
My focus is on doing the best for my team in the IPL and helping them win matches.
While the consistency might be lacking in Samsons showing for India, Kerala and Rajasthan Royals, the talent is clearly oozing in abundance. There are few batsmen more entertaining than the Royals man when he gets going at the crease, and he has the ability to make batting look easy in such moments.
Whether he will be able to deliver the goods for his franchise in the upcoming weeks remains to be seen for now. With an India spot potentially at stake, he might just have to.
Know more about Sport360 Application