How a conversation with Virat Kohli changed Sanju Samson’s approach

Photo by: Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson has come off with a bang in the 2020 Indian Premier League, and he has revealed that a conversation with India skipper Virat Kohli while on tour in New Zealand changed the way he approached the game.

While Samson’s ability has been apparent for some time and he was earmarked for big things while coming up through the structures of Kerala cricket, he conceded that he was at times guilty of enjoying the good things in life to the detriment of his cricket career.

Virat Kohli’s sage advice

Samson made his T20I debut at the age of 21 but didn’t don an India shirt again until the 2019 tour to New Zealand. It was there that a conversation with Kohli, one of cricket’s most focused characters, prompted a change of mindset from the wicketkeeper batsman.

“When I was in the gym with the Indian team, I met Virat Bhai, I keep on asking him different things. 

“When he asked me how many years you are going to be playing and I said ten, he told me that me ‘then give everything to these ten years and you can have your favourite food from Kerala after that’. 

“So I became really dedicated to give my best for the next ten to 12 years.”

Samson doesn’t want to waste his strength

Samson is keen to make the most of his peak years having already experienced how quickly a career can be derailed by a loss of form or injury.

“I think I can’t play cricket after ten to 12 years. I am very lucky to be a part of Rajasthan Royals and some very good individuals, good human beings around me. I am a bit deep person and I keep on thinking about my future, also about my life, because everyone will die one day,” Samson said.

Samson has played for three IPL franchise’s bursting onto the scene with the Royals before making a splash at the Delhi Daredevils and also spending time with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Despite being just 25-years-old, he already has 95 IPL matches behind him and 2368 runs to his name. He has also scored two IPL centuries putting him in an elite group of players.