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I am better equipped than other players about UAE conditions: Sanju Samson

Having played for India U-19 in UAE recently, 19-year-old says he is better prepared than other IPL players

While most players would be preparing to tackle the conditions in United States Emirates (UAE) where a lot of Indian cricketers haven't played for over a decade, Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson (19) isn't experiencing any such jitters before flying out for the first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL is slated to start in the UAE from April 16.

Sanju Samson at the BKC yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Sanju Samson at the BKC yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK 

Samson, the Royals' sensation in the last IPL, was one of the five players retained by the franchise for this season. He was in UAE for nearly a month for the India U-19 World Cup a couple of months ago. Before that, he was a part of the victorious U-19 Asia Cup team in UAE.

"Yes, I will be much better equipped than other players as far as assessing conditions in the UAE is concerned. I have played two important tournaments there and I know the conditions there really well. I will look to capitalise on this advantage and it should be helpful," said Samson after Kerala lost to Rajasthan in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground yesterday.

In vain
Samson slammed his maiden half-century of the tournament with a 36-ball 58 (6x4 and 4x6) as Kerala posted a challenging 172-3 in their 20 overs. But his effort went in vain. For Samson, who chose to play the T20 tournament for his state team instead of training with his Rajasthan Royals teammates at DY Patil Stadium, Nerul, yesterday's knock is a sure boost.

"It's good to get some runs before the IPL; good for my confidence. I felt I should represent my state team, which has qualified for the Super League stage of the tournament, that's why I am with them," said Samson, who may get another match with Kerala before RR fly to Dubai on April 14.

Samson has played quite a few remarkable knocks for Kerala over the years in various age categories, but the batsman felt the IPL has brought his talent to the fore. "IPL has been a great learning experience. I closely watch all my senior and international teammates. It has helped me bring my talent to the fore. I hope to finish more games for Royals this season," said Samson.

Legendary batsman Rahul Dravid has often stressed that Samson is the one to watch out for in the future, but the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman showed no signs of getting carried away. "I don't look too much into the future. I like to stay in the present," he signed off.

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