Can’t play like Dhoni, I focus by myself fashion: Sanju Samson

Dubai, September 29

“No one can, no one should try” to play like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has said, rejecting comparisons with the former captain after his own hitting power-hitting has impressed everyone in IPL-13.

Samson hit sixers at will to power his franchise, Rajasthan Royals, to wins over Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab, the second one ending in a record IPL chase. Following this, the Congress MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, called him the next MS Dhoni.

But Samson disagreed strongly. “I am sure that no one can and no one should try to play like him. It’s not at all easy to play like MS Dhoni, so leave that aside. I never think of playing like MS Dhoni. He is a legend of Indian cricket, legend of the game,” Samson said.

“I only focus on my game, what I can do, how I can do it best and how I can win matches,” said the Kerala youngster.

India ambition

With his belligerent knocks of 74 and 85, Samson has again staked his claim for selection to the Indian team. Asked if he thinks he has done enough to attract the attention of the national selectors, Samson said, “I maybe (think), maybe not. The only thing I know is I am in good form, my only dream is to win matches for my team, any team I play. My focus is on the IPL right now.”

Samson recently said he has another 10 years of cricket left in him, a conclusion he came to after a lot of thought and an interaction with Indian captain Virat Kohli during a gym session.

Having performed well over the last few IPLs, he is aware that his performance on the domestic circuit should be better. “I have understood my game, it’s more of power hitting. So I have been training on my strengths on my power hitting,” he said.

“I am in a very good space mentally. I have worked closely with our video analyst for four to five months and that really helped me improve.” — TNS, agencies

Sanju Samson

I never think of playing like MS Dhoni. I only focus on my game, what I can do

16 Sixers hit by Sanju Samson in two innings, the most in IPL-13 so far. The next best is 11 by Mayank Agarwal in three innings

214.86 Samson’s scoring rate, with 159 runs off 74 balls. This is the best scoring rate for a player with over 75 runs in IPL-13. The next best is 186.11 by AB de Villiers (134 runs off 72 balls)

Kohli inspiration

Sanju Samson has said interacting with Virat Kohli has been very helpful to him. “When I was in gym with the Indian team I met Virat bhai, I keep on asking him different things,” he said. “When he asked me how many years you are going to be play and I said 10, he told me that me: ‘Then give everything to these 10 years and you can have your favourite food from Kerala after that.’ So I became really dedicated to give my best for the next 10-12 years.”

Sunrisers beat Delhi Capitals by 15 runs

Rashid Khan celebrates the dismissal of Shreyas Iyer. PTI

Abu Dhabi: Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Delhi Capitals by 15 runs for their first win in IPL-13 here today. Kane Williamson, playing his first game of the season, smashed 41 off 26 balls after SRH were put in to bat. Openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow made 45 and 53, respectively, as SRH scored 162/4. In response, Delhi Capitals ended at 147/7 with Rashid Khan taking three wickets. Khan dismissed three set batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan (34), skipper Shreyas Iyer (17) and Rishabh Pant (28) — to help his side to victory. pti

Brief scores: SRH: 162/4 (Bairstow 53, Warner 45, Williamson 41; Rabada 2/21, Mishra 2/35); DD: 147/7 (Dhawan 34, Pant 28; Rashid 3/14, Bhuvneshwar 2/25)

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