The last three, four months were challenging for me mentally: Sanju Samson

Image Source : GETTY Sanju Samson celebrating his century against SA in 3rd ODI on December 21, 2023

India recorded a memorable series win against South Africa after a dominant triumph in the third ODI game on Thursday. KL Rahul-led India won the ODI series on South African soil after a gap of five years and it was Sanju Samson who played a match-winning knock by smashing a maiden international hundred.

Samson ended his inconsistent form with a bat as he top-scored with 108 runs off 114 balls while batting at the no.3 position at Paarl’s Boland Park. Samson’s maiden hundred came after 14 ODI innings and after great suffering as well.

The 29-year-old Kerala batter hasn’t been able to cement a regular place in any format in the Indian team having made his debut way back in 2015. He was not part of the Indian squad for the recently concluded World Cup 2023 and was also snubbed from T20I teams for the recent series ahead of the T20 World Cup.

After clinching the Player of the Match award Samson revealed last few months have been mentally challenging. 

“The last three, four months were challenging for me mentally,” Sanju said after the game. “So going through all that and coming here I think doing what I did today, I think I feel really happy and grateful. I just watched the ball and bat and the boundaries and the scoring options ultimately happened. So I was just focused on the process and playing one ball at a time and then I think the scorecard kept on ticking.

Samson’s hundred came from the no.3 position which has been occupied by star batter Virat Kohli for the last few years. KL Rahul talked about Samson grabbing his chances in any position and said it’s unfortunate to not give him the no.3 role due to stalwarts.

“Pleased for Sanju, he’s been a phenomenal performer in the IPL over the years. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to give him the chance at No. 3, because obviously there are stalwarts in the ODIs who occupy those key spots. Glad he was able to grab his chances here,” KL Rahul said.

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