Indian wicketkeeper-batter and Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain, Sanju Samson, recalled the magical day of his career when he managed to impress legend and current India team head coach, Rahul Dravid during RR’s trials back in 2013.
Samson, one of the finest players in the country, made his IPL debut in 2013 for RR and after playing two seasons for the franchise, he got his national call-up. Notably, the Kerala star represented the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2016 and 2017 before returning to RR in 2018.
Recently, Samson recalled the day when he was able to grab Dravid’s attention in 2013 when the legendary batter spotted a then 18-year-old star during RR’s trails.
Samson told Gaurav Kapur on his show ‘Breakfast with Champions’: “That day, my heart was beating on another level. That day was one of the most special moments of my life. Never before or after, have I batted the way I did on those 2 days. I hit the ball and I heard would hear him (Dravid) say from behind ‘What a shot. Shot Sanju’. That kept pumping me up. It was magical, really special. Even before the trial, he said to me, ‘I know you’re doing well in the domestic circuit, very excited to see you’.”
The same year, he became the youngest player to score an IPL fifty, but he was more elated to get an opportunity to bat with his idol, Dravid.
He further explained, “I never thought I would bat with Rahul Dravid. So in the first game I played, I went one down and Rahul sir was opening. I knew they had sent me to hit, so I went and hit the first ball for four. Rahul sir walked up to me and said, ‘Sanju… take your time. Take a couple of balls and then see what you can do’. I said ‘Yes sir’. The next ball was a bouncer, I subconsciously pulled it and it went for four. Sir came over and said ‘Keep going, keep going’.”
Recalling another interaction with Dravid, Samson said: “We always had one eye on Rahul Dravid. When he became the coach of Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). I was there, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, and Rishabh Pant were all there as well.”
He concluded, “We all had that kind of experience with Rahul Dravid, to learn from him. I remember telling all of us ‘I think all of you will play for India one day’. That was very special for all of us.”