Rishabh Pant has more opportunities because he is left-handed, Sanju Samson is not deliberately excluded, says Sanju coach Biju George | Cricket News
When Sanju is in doubt or needs advice, Biju is just a phone call away.
“Sanju came to me at the age of 11. And he was with me this afternoon too. You are practicing with me after getting permission from the CM. One of my friends has a gym. So, he opened it for us and we both do regular exercises there. We do beach and field sessions on the beaches. Sanju’s father bought it for me at a young age. The only thing I observed in Sanju at an early age and it’s still in him that he just wants to dominate, “Biju told TImesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
SANJU’S FIRST LOVE – CRICKET
If Sanju is in town, you will see him chatting, taking long trips, and running on San Andres beach in Kerala, with his mentor Biju. The wicket-carrying hitter often visits the Medical Cricket Ground in Thiruvananthapuram with Biju, where he started playing cricket.
Sanju has several match-winning IPL punches and centuries of domestic cricket under his belt, but for Biju, the youngster’s punch during an interscholastic tournament on muddy terrain at the Medical Cricket Ground many years ago remains his favorite.
“People remember Sanju for his IPL and U19 level entries. But your only entry will always be on top of any entry in your career. It was a rainy day in Trivandrum at the medical cricket ground where I train him. It always rains in Kerala. There was thick mud on the ground and some grass. Bats struggled to stand on that muddy ground. It was a match between schools in progress. But this guy (Sanju) was holding back and bringing bowlers to the cleaners. I still remember those innings more than any of the innings he has played in his career. He only won the game for his team, “recalled the coach.
“When he entered the U-13 stage, he was selected to play a tournament in Bangalore. In the first game, he went and scored a double century. He scored 5 or 6 centuries in the tournament. After every game, he used to call from a landline number and talk about his game. The first thing I used to ask … “Sir, how did I play?” Biju said.
“I still remember asking Robin Uthappa for a bat. He was a star at the time. I met Robin and told him about Sanju. I told him that Sanju is a good hitter but has no bat. Can you give him a bat? Robin went to Chinnaswamy Stadium and personally gave him the bat. Sanju was very happy and he called me right away and said ‘Sir, a car came and stopped and Robin Uthappa he left. He gave me a bat. It’s heavy and very good, ‘”he said.
SANJU OR TROUSERS AS DHONI’S SUCCESSOR?
Sanju made his international debut in 2015 in an international Twenty20 match against Zimbabwe. The Kerala boy entered number 7 and scored 19 of 24 balls, including a limit, before being fired by Chris Mpofu. It took the young man four more years to get his next call to India.
Finally, opportunity knocked on his door once again when he was selected for a three-game T20 series against Bangladesh.
However, Sanju was unable to play a single match in that series against Bangladesh in 2019, as the selectors were with Rishabh trousers, as the first choice wicket-keeper. The Kerala cricket player sat in the dressing room, cheered on his team, spent time with his captain Virat Kohli and other seniors and teammates.
Sanju’s exclusion from the 11th game became the subject of fierce debate.
Many former cricketers and fans were dismayed that Sanju was only used as someone running to the field with drinks, rather than being part of XI, despite receiving a call from India following very good performances in the domestic cricket.
The questions arose once again when the selectors left Sanju for the series of limited overs against the West Indies last year, without giving it a try against Bangladesh.
Sanju finally had another chance to play in a T20I match against Sri Lanka in Pune in January earlier this year, but managed to make just 6 runs.
When India toured New Zealand, Sanju was again included in the T20I team earlier this year, but was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, scoring just 8 and 2 in their two outings.
“If you ask me as a person close to Sanju, I would say that I should have had more opportunities. But if you look at the point of view of the Indian team, why do they give Rishabh Pant so many possibilities? First, she’s left-handed, obviously. Second, the strategies of the Indian team. They may have the World Cup in mind, where they could take on a team that has left-arm or leg spinners, or a quick-arm left-handed bowler, and this time Pant will come in handy. This is my opinion. That depends on the team, the captain and the coach to make the decision. That the head of selection must decide who is the most suitable to be on the team against an opposition: Pant or Sanju? I don’t think this is going out deliberately so as not to give anyone a chance, “Biju told TimesofIndia.com.
“As you move up the hierarchy on the cricket ladder, many difficulties arise. It is a very difficult process to filter, which really suits you, which does not suit you. Sanju is a boy, if you look at all his entries, he is a boy who depends on time. He is not a player who will destroy the ball, he will time it. That is what makes Sanju a part. If you look at his IPL and the national innings, you will see that he multiplies the ball so perfectly. Last season, when he marked a century against Hyderabad Sunrises, timed most of the shots through the covers. When he got to the Indian side, someone told him you have to be hitting the ball. When it started hitting the ball, it started to lose its shape, ”he said.
“Every time we meet this year, we do long runs, we do long conversations, and we decided that his focus should be on keeping in shape, timing the ball and hitting it directly, nothing more.” And dominate. I am sure you will see a different Sanju in the next season. It will dazzle both nationally and internationally, “the coach told TimesofIndia.com.
THE RAHUL DRAVID FACTOR
Biju never had the opportunity to work closely with Indian hitting legend Rahul Dravid, but he is happy that Sanju has had the opportunity to play alongside Dravid.
When Sanju was bought by the Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise in 2013, he had the opportunity to play under Dravid’s captaincy.
Before joining Rajasthan Royals, Sanju was part of the Knights of Kolkata Knights in 2012, but was unable to play a single game.
In 93 IPL career games so far, Sanju has scored 2209 runs at an average of 27.61. He also has 10 years fifty-two centuries to his credit.
“Dravid had a great influence on Sanju. In addition to Dravid, Zubin Barucha has supported him a lot. Sanju became more mature under Dravid. Sanju is a little introverted. Being an introvert in a game like cricket is a little difficult. It tends to bottle things up in a certain way, otherwise it will one day explode. You need that balance. And Dravid has helped Sanju find his balance, “said the coach.
“I guarantee you will be a much better cricket player. And just look at it as it is. He has been so punished, focused, and rooted now. And I wish and pray that he will come out and settle in the Indian cricket for a long time. He is working hard on his physical condition and is getting stronger ”, Biju signed.