Vijay Hazare: Samson goes big, hits double ton against Goa
On Saturday, after scoring his career-best 212 not out in List A cricket, the highest individual score in the history of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Sanju Samson credited the pitch at Alur, which set the platform for an even contest between bat and ball.
“I’m happy to be playing this tournament in Bangalore (Alur). Playing on wickets in Kerala, where five-day matches get over in one-and-a-half days… I have been playing on those types of wickets for a very long time. It was a great opportunity for me to come here, where the wickets are even. In Kerala, we don’t get much opportunity to play on true wickets,” Samson told The Sunday Express.
Today, at Alur, he scored 212 not out off 129 balls, hitting 21 fours and 10 sixes in Kerala’s 104-run victory over Goa in an Elite Group A, Vijay Hazare Trophy match. It was his maiden List A century, which became the eighth instance of an Indian player scoring a double hundred in this format. Samson also added 338 runs with Sachin Baby for the third wicket. The latter made 127 off 135 deliveries.
“I just tried to play to my strengths, which is to dominate the bowlers. It wasn’t a single-tempo innings. At times I had to find my singles and doubles. I had to wait for the slog overs (to up the ante). Overall, it was a nice innings I would say,” the 24-year-old ‘keeper-batsman gave a low-down. “After I crossed my hundred, I thought I could reach the double hundred,” he added.
Samson made his international debut four years ago, at a T20 international against Zimbabwe at Harare. Till now that has remained his sole international outing. “For me, yes, people have been talking about my selection in the Indian team for the last three-four years. But I always wanted to do something special. Playing for my country right now would be like playing in the world’s best XI. To get into that team you have to be special. I’m happy that this knock is really special and I was waiting for something like this to happen,” he said.
By his own admission, Samson is now in a better mental space. “Earlier, I used to think a lot. Now I have simplified things. I just go out there and try to enjoy my cricket, and have fun. That’s how I have changed.”
With MS Dhoni in the twilight of his career, there’s a window, although Rishabh Pant remains the first-choice in limited-overs internationals. Sanju doesn’t begrudge Pant. He rather calls him a “special cricketer”. With regards to his own international future, he turns philosophical. “I’m a very big believer that everything turns up at the right time.”
Brief Scores: Kerala 377 for 3 in 50 ovs (Sanju Samson 212 (129b, 21×4, 10×6), Sachin Baby 127; Lakshay Garg 1/73) vs Goa 273 for 8 in 50 ovs (AD Kaushik 58, TT Sawkar 56; S Sandeep Warrier 2/44)