India's young wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson received a hero's welcome upon his arrival at the Thiruvananthapuram airport with the team ahead of the second T20I against West Indies in the city. Locals gathered in numbers to welcome the team, and as Samson came out of the airport to join the team in the bus, the crowd began to chant his name.
Samson has been the part of India's T20I team for some time, but hasn't appeared in a game this year.
He was called up to the side during the series against Bangladesh in November, but remained on the bench in all the three games. After being left out of the original squad for the three-match series against West Indies, Samson was recalled to cover up for opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was ruled out due to injury.
Rajasthan Royals, the IPL franchise Samson represents, shared the video of his reception on their Twitter account. "A hero's welcome for Sanju! #HallaBol | #RoyalsFamily | @IamSanjuSamson," Royals wrote.
In an interview with IANS ahead of the series against Bangladesh, Samson insisted that he is open to keeping wickets or playing exclusively as a batsman.
"I like to keep things as simple as possible and when I get the opportunity I look to score big. If I get five innings, I want to score big in one or two innings and win matches for my team. Consistency in my innings won’t win matches for my team. It is more important to play an outstanding innings to win my team games. I go behind that kind of idea," Samson had said.
India lead the three-match T20I series against West Indies 1-0 after cruising to a six-wicket win in Hyderabad. Virat Kohli shined with the bat for the side as he reached his highest individual score (94*) in the innings.