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Sri Lanka great tips Sanju Samson to thrive at T20 World Cup

9 May 2024 10:41 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


May 9 (ICC) - A glowing endorsement for Sanju Samson to win the race to be first-choice wicket-keeper for India at next month's T20 World Cup.

Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara believes Sanju Samson can thrive at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup if he wins the race to be India's first-choice wicket-keeper.

Samson has been in fine form for Rajasthan Royals at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) under the watchful eye of Sangakkara, with the right-hander having scored an impressive 471 runs from 11 matches alongside seven dismissals in his role as keeper.

India chose two specialist keepers within their 15-player squad for next month's T20 World Cup and Samson faces a head-to-head battle with the returning Rishabh Pant to decide who will keep wickets at the 20-over showcase that will be held in the USA and West Indies.

Sangakkara was one of the premier wicket-keeper batters in the world in recent times and the Sri Lanka legend has seen enough at the IPL this year in his coaching role at Rajasthan to know Samson can make a strong impact at the T20 World Cup should he earn selection in India's XI.

"He's a special player and when he's fresh and focused there's nothing he can't do," Sangakkara said of Samson. 

"He's a humble, grounded guy... not much on social media. He tends to like a lot of privacy, cares for the rest of the group.

"Those are great qualities to have apart from talent and skill. I think he'll be exceptional in that group going to the World Cup."


While Samson has been one of the premier keeper-batters in the IPL in recent years, the 29-year-old missed out on selection for India at the last T20 World Cup and has only played 25 T20I for his country since debuting against Zimbabwe in 2015.

But Sangakkara thinks Samson is a more mature player now than in previous years and a different approach from a mental perspective is helping him get the most out of his ability.

"With Sanju, the biggest thing about this season for him is having a lot of clarity about the way he should bat," Sangakkara added.

"There are certain stages of the game that he seems to lose a bit of concentration, which we've addressed from past seasons.

"He's changed his mindset about the importance of rest and recovery, rather than just training all the time and being tired mentally and physically. The rest is his exceptional ability."

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