Kochi: Sanju Samson, the 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, is on cloud nine ever since he got the maiden call into the Indian cricket team for the five One-day Internationals (ODIs) and one-off Twenty20 against England.
Samson's phone has not stopped ringing after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced his name on Tuesday.
Speaking exclusively to Times Sport on Wednesday, a delighted Samson said it was 'a long wait that finally had a thrilling climax'.
"It's certainly a dream come true for me. To represent my country is an honour," said Sasmon who hails from Vizhinjam, a famous harbor town located in the heart of Trivandrum in Kerala.
For Samson, who made a dream debut last year for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), it was long journey to the Indian team despite contributing to the Royals with some fine half centuries that eventually led his side to the final of the cash-rich tournament.
However, his inclusion in the senior team that will be lead by the charismatic skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, comes after a stupendous performance in the recently concluded quadrangular one-day series in Australia.
Samson, who turns 20 in November, was the leading run-getter for India A in their victorious campaign with 244 runs from seven matches. The dashing middle-order batsman revealed that he would not comprise on his approach while playing for India.
"My approach wouldn't be any different from the way I play for Kerala in the domestic level or for Rajasthan Royals. It will be the same when I play for India as well," he said. "I must says it's only through hard work you get the result you want. Initially, I used to set targets to fulfill but then it didn't work. Then I realised that you have to climb every step before making it big and that was what exactly happened in my case," he noted.
Samson becomes the third cricketer from an otherwise football mad state to be selected to the Indian team. Fast bowler Tinu Yohannan and S. Sreesanth were the other two cricketers who previously represented Kerala.
With the World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand in six months, Samson could be in selectors scheme of things but the soft-spoken cricketer does not want to look far ahead.
"All I am looking forward to now is to play well in England. I want to take one tournament at a time," he added. "I know very well what my limitations are and honestly I don't do anything special to achieve success. I stick to my basics and thankfully things are going the way I want to."
Meanwhile, IPL governing council member and Kerala Cricket Association president T.C. Mathew hailed Samson as the future of Indian cricket.
"There is no doubt he is going to be the future of Indian cricket. Sanju is exceptionally talented cricketer and has got the right ingredients for a batsman. I am sure he is going to handy for Dhoni in England," Mathew said.
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