'I don't think anyone can be like MS Dhoni. I would like to be myself'
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is regarded as one of the most successful captains not only on the international stage, but also in the IPL. But Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson would like to be himself as he knows nobody can be like the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain.
Samson will lead Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 IPL season as the franchise parted ways with last edition skipper Steve Smith ahead of the auction.
"I don't think anyone can be like MS Dhoni. I would like to be myself. Sanju Samson will be good enough," the Rajasthan Royals website quoted Samson as saying.
Samson wants to learn as much as he can from RR Director of Cricket and Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara.
"I am very much looking forward to leading the Royals. Definitely, a lot of different thoughts are going through my mind, but I would like to keep it simple. I am happy to take on this role," the Rajasthan Royals website quoted Samson as saying.
"To be very honest, until last year, I never felt that I may possibly be the leader of the Royals," he added.
Sangakkara is arguably one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen the game of cricket ever produced. Samson not only eyes to learn wicket-keeping skills but every side of the former Sri Lanka skipper's game which made him one of the best batsmen of the modern era.
"My first memory of Sanga is definitely his cover drive and I loved his batting. This is a dream come true and it was very exciting to know that I will be working so closely with a legend like Kumar Sangakkara," said Samson.
"If you look up to people like Rahul Dravid, Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, or Ricky Ponting, they are legends of their time. Everyone was so evenly balanced and everything they did, it looked perfect. I am waiting to learn every side of Sangakkara in this IPL season," he added.
Rajasthan Royals might have finished at the bottom of the table but they were only two points behind the third and fourth ranked team, such was the intense competition in the world's best T20 league in 2020.
Samson thanked fans for supporting the Royals during the topsy turvy ride and promised to bring smiles back on their faces in this year's IPL.
"I would like to thank each and every fan out there for supporting our team and being with us no matter what. I'll make sure that we play some good cricket for you guys and bring a smile on your faces. Thanks a lot, guys," said Samson.
IPL will begin on April 9 with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians locking horns in the tournament opener. Rajasthan Royals will play their first game on April 12 against Punjab Kings in Mumbai.