Samarth targets big things this season


Samarth’s first match turned out to be a forgettable one. Called in as a last-minute replacement for Abhinav Mukund, the right hander produced scores of 0 and 24 as India crashed to a massive 235-run defeat to South Africa ‘A’ in the first four-day game in Pretoria.

He however made amends by hitting two half-centuries in India’s six-wicket victory in the second match in Potchefstroom. After slamming 77 to be India’s top-scorer in the first innings, Samarth struck 55 and stitched a match-winning partnership of 74 with skipper and state-mate Karun Nair as India chased down a tricky target of 224.

The youngster said not dwelling too much on the first match debacle helped him make a mark in the next game.

“These things happen but I never thought too much about it because these are things that
shouldn’t concern a batsman. You shouldn’t dwell on it too much because it will affect you,” said Samarth.

The right-handed opening batsman called the experience of playing an international series special.

“It was a great experience. It was something different. The wickets were different, the weather was different. So many things that we had to adapt to. I was really happy with the way I went about things. I am really glad with the way Rahul (Dravid) sir and Karun helped me out. Even though I had a bad game in the first match, they had the belief that I would do well,” he offered. 

Samarth thanked his coach Dravid for helping him stay confident. “He helped me a lot, especially with the mental aspect. He keeps you calm. He keeps the dressing room calm. There is no stress. It was a great experience for me to be a part of that dressing room,” he said. 

Ahead of the domestic season, Samarth is in fine form but said scoring big knocks is something he has to do often. 

“I’ve been pretty consistent, to be honest. Maybe scoring more hundreds is what I should do. Even in the India ‘A’ series, I felt really great with my overall performance but I was unhappy that I didn’t get a hundred in one of the innings. Apart from that, it was really special,” he said.

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