Sanju Samson: How Rahul Dravid moulded his career in formative years

Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson recalled how India Test great Rahul Dravid moulded his career.

Sanju Samson interacts with Dravid (Courtesy: IPL/Twitter)
By Samrat Chakraborty | May 3, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Kerala captain Sanju Samson was known for his fine timing of the ball which helped him score quick runs. His stakes continued to rise through his participation in the Indian Premier League which also helped him earn the Team India cap in the limited-overs format. However, he attributes a large part of his success to India Test great Rahul Dravid, who shaped up his career for better during his formative years. 

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Sanju Samson recalls his first interaction with Rahul Dravid

Dravid has been credited for shaping many careers and finding many talents in the India U-19 circuit including the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Ayush Badoni. He was also the one to spot Samson at the age of 18 as the duo also shared time in the middle when the Kerala star became the youngest player to score an IPL fifty. 

“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 (Rahul 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 domestic circuit, very excited to see you’,” Samson told actor, sports presenter Gaurav Kapur on his famous YouTube show ‘Breakfast with Champions’.

“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’,” Samson mentioned.

Sanju Samson recalls his Delhi Daredevils’ days 

Samson made sure that he always picked up the brains of the Indian great and cut out a delightful figure when Dravid joined the capital franchise in the IPL as their coach. “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, Rishabh Pant were all there as well. 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,” said the RR captain.

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