Team India youngster Sanju Samson has credited two wicketkeeper-batsmen, who changed the role of the keeper-batsmen for years to come. Keeper-batsman Samson, who himself is known for his attacking style of play, engaged in an interview with Times of India and talked in detail about this aspect.
The two wicketkeepers that Sanju Samson named were former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist and his fellow countryman, MS Dhoni. Undoubtedly, it was Gilchrist, who revolutionized the role of a gloveman at the top order in ODIs. In 287 ODIs, the left-handed batsman scored 9619 runs at a strike rate of 96.95. His partnership with Matthew Hayden produced 16 century stands, which is the second-most in the format.
On the other hand, former Indian captain MS Dhoni has won several matches for his side while batting at the lower-order. The 38-year old has often been India’s crisis man, known for taking the game deep, especially during run-chases and finishing it off in style. MS Dhoni’s 350 ODIs have produced over 10000 runs at an imperious strike rate of 87.56, averaging 50.57.
Sanju Samson admits that almost all the wicketkeepers are top-notch batsmen today. He attributed Gilchrist for changing their role while batting at the top while MS Dhoni did the same for the lower middle-order. Samson added that having a gloveman, who is a capable batsman, helps the team play an extra bowler or all-rounder.
“Wicket-keepers today are all top batsmen as well. You look around the world, most of the ‘keepers are very good batsmen. Adam Gilchrist changed the game for keepers coming up the order, MS Dhoni has done likewise in the middle-order. It is now almost a norm to have a wicketkeeeper who is a very good top or middle-order batsman, as it helps the team add an extra bowler or all-rounder in the team.”
Sanju Samson hopes to emulate MS Dhoni’s calmness and level-headedness:
MS Dhoni’s calmness during pressure and intense situations is a quality, which is exceptionally likeable in him and has helped the 38-year old in many ways. The Rajasthan Royals batsman hopes to imbibe the same into himself to have more composure and focus while batting.
“MS Dhoni’s calmness and focus in tough situations is something that has influenced me. It is something that I would like to inculcate in my game as well and be calmer and more focussed while batting.”