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‘Need to improve ’keeping’

Thiruvananthapuram/ Calcutta: Sanju Samson thanked all the people, who believed in his talent after being included in the Indian team for the limited-over series against England.

“I am extremely happy and thankful to all who stood by me,” Samson told reporters.

Earlier, speaking to a cricket-specific website, Samson said his biggest takeaway from playing in Australia in the Quadrangular Series was understanding the dynamics of batting in the middle order and adjusting his game according to the match situation.

Samson, the Kerala batsman who was part of the India Under-19 team at the World Cup earlier this year, is primarily a top-order player, even for his franchise Rajasthan Royals. Samson finished as India A’s highest run-scorer with 244 runs from seven innings with two fifties with an average of 81.33, given that he was dismissed just thrice. Samson had dropped down to No.6 and also kept wicket in all games. Though he failed in the final against Australia A, scoring 5, India still went on to win the tournament.

“I am not used to playing in the middle/lower order,” Samson said after arriving in India. “I took the opportunity and I always wanted to finish games for my team and be not out at the end. I was not out in four innings and I learnt how a batsman needs to convert his game according to the situation, playing in different conditions and bowlers, especially down the order.”

Samson’s top score of 81 in the opening game came in a losing cause, but it helped India stretch Australia after India were limping at 84 for 6 chasing 253. He made a bigger impact in match-winning unbeaten knocks of 55 — batting at No. 7 — and 49 in successive matches. Samson’s performance on tour won the praise of India A coach Abhay Sharma.

“I like to be involved in the game as much as I can,” Samson said. “Keeping to every single ball keeps you involved. It was an interesting experience and I kept in all seven matches and in those conditions it was a very good experience for me. I do know that I need to improve my wicketkeeping.”