HARARE: Indian wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson says it has been ''tough'' for him to remain on the sidelines throughout in his international career but he prefers to stay positive.
Having shot to prominence as a teenager and then making International debut in a T20I against Zimbabwe here in 2015, the Kerala cricketer has featured only in seven ODIs and 16 T20Is till date.
Samson finally got chances in the second string side in team's recent tour of Ireland, West Indies and Zimbabwe. He will make way for regular keeper-batter Rishabh Pant when the Asia Cup begins in the UAE.
''I am a believer that whatever you go through in your career, you have to take it in a positive manner,'' Samson told the official broadcasters of the India-Zimbabwe ODI series.
''It's very tough, it definitely gets into your head when you know that all your friends are playing and you're not,'' Samson said.
Despite playing so little, Samson said he's fortunate to have a ''good fan following''.
''I feel surprised (on his fan following) that despite playing very little for India, I get good support.'' Samson, who took three catches, anchored India's 162-run chase with an unbeaten 43 not out to return with the man-of-the-match in India's series-clinching second ODI against Zimbabwe here on Saturday.
Batting at six, the Kerala player struck four sixes and three boundaries in his 39-ball knock.
''I feel there are a lot of Malayalis (in the crowd) as I hear cheers of 'Chetta Chetta' (elder brother) which make me feel proud,'' he said.
Having led Rajasthan Royals to their second final in the IPL history this year, Samson credited domestic cricket for his growth as a player.
''I really enjoyed playing domestic cricket for the last four-five years. It is challenging to do well there and that has made me a better player.
Samson finished among top-10 leading run getters in the IPL-2022 with 458 runs from 17 matches.
He further said captaining the Royals was a big turning point for him.
''It (IPL) has changed my perspective towards cricket. Earlier I used to think only about my batting, my game. Captaincy helps bring about a different mindset -- think about others as well apart from your game,'' he concluded.