Sanju Samson believes that ‘no one should try’ to imitate Mahendra Singh Dhoni because it is ‘not easy to do so’. Instead, the Kerala stumper-batsman prefers playing the game his way.

In this edition of the Indian Premier League, Sanju has amassed 159 runs in two games for Rajasthan Royals, leading to comparisons with the former India captain. But ahead of the team’s fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders, Sanju isn’t in a mood for comparisons.

“I am sure that no one can and no one should try to play like him. It’s not at all easy to play like MS Dhoni, so leave that aside. I never think of playing like MS Dhoni. He is a legend of Indian cricket, legend of the game,” Sanju said. “I only focus on my game, what I can do, how I can do it best and how I can win matches…”

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Even though he has played four T20Is for India, Sanju hasn’t been able to cement his place in the team. Will this year’s performance help him catch the attention of the national selectors? “Maybe, maybe not,” he said.

“I am very lucky to be a part of Rajasthan Royals and some very good individuals, good human beings around me. I am a bit deep person and I keep on thinking about my future, also about my life, because everyone will die one day. I think I can’t play cricket after 10-12 years.

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“When I was in gym with the Indian team I met Virat bhai, I keep on asking him different things. When he asked me how many years you are going to be play and I said 10, he told me that me ‘then give everything to these 10 years and you can have your favourite food from Kerala after that’. So I became really dedicated to give my best for the next 10-12 years,” the 25-year-old revealed.

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The Kerala cricketer admits that playing in Kerala and Jaipur has helped him adapt to the humid conditions in the UAE. “I am in a very good space mentally. I have worked closely with our video analyst for four to five months and that really helped me improve.”

“We have a very well-balanced team, good bowling strength, we are confident with our batting lineup, we bat deep with even someone like Shreyas Gopal batting at number nine. But lot depends on the conditions…,” Sanju said.

It’s still early days in the tournament but Sanju wants to keep the momentum going.