India A vs New Zealand A: Sanju Samson, who is set to lead India in their List A games against New Zealand, opened up about his chances of making it to the Indian national team.

The keeper-batsman believes that over the past few years he has prepared himself in a manner that no one terms him a one-dimensional cricketer. His exclusion from the World Cup left fans fuming, but the Kerala batter said that he understands that getting into the elite 15 of the national team is more challenging than ever, with the quality of players Indian cricket is churning out nowadays.

The 27-year-old keeper added that the demands of the game needs one to be flexible to be successful. “Playing different roles is something I have worked on for a lot of years. I am confident of batting anywhere in the order,” PTI quoted Samson.

“You should not fix a spot for yourself. You cannot tell people: ‘I am an opener or I am a finisher.’ In the last three-four years, playing in various roles and spots (in the order) has added a new dimension to my game,” he added.

The 27-year-old has always found himself in and out of the team and failed to find a regular spot, having featured in 7 ODIs and 16 T20Is so far. The selectors have been criticised by fans on several occasions for not picking the Kerala power-hitter, but Samson stated that finding a spot in the Indian team is challenging and there is a lot of competition.

“It really does get challenging. Finding a place in the Indian team is really challenging. There is a lot of competition around, even within players who are in the team now. When these things happen, it is important to focus on myself,” Samson said. “I am happy with the way I am performing. I want to improve…,” he added.

Samson is set to lead India A in the three List A games against New Zealand A, starting at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from Thursday (Sept. 22).

“The quality of cricketers we have in our team is unbelievable. So, it really helps each and every individual to raise their level. We keep on challenging ourselves. We try to perform every time we get an opportunity,” Samson stated.

The A series always keeps the fringe players in the selection radar and talking about leading the India A team, Samson said it is important to make use of the opportunities. “They (India A games) are really important. There is not much difference between an A game and international game. The competition is almost the same. So, it is important to make use of the opportunities,” Samson signed off.