Jos Buttler, who played under Sanju Samson’s captaincy in IPL 2021, has admitted that he really enjoyed the season and insisted that Samson grew into the role as the tournament progressed. He added that Samson’s free-spirited nature rubbed into the team and called Samson an ‘authentic’ leader.
After the miserable end to the 2020 IPL season Rajasthan Royals had a big decision to make, and they made it by axing the Australian Steve Smith as player and captain. In a fresh-look setup, the franchise decided to place their trust in Kerala’s Sanju Samson, a regular of this Royals' setup. Leading into the tournament, the wicketkeeper-batsman also skippered the Kerala side, where he led the team in an aggressive fashion.
However, given the magnitude of the IPL, it was expected that he would simmer down on his style of captaincy. Samson, however, didn’t change, with his side playing in a free-spirited fashion, registering three wins out of seven games in the tournament. England star Jos Buttler admitted he really enjoyed playing under the new skipper, adding that he grew into the role as the season progressed.
"I've really enjoyed playing under Sanju's captaincy. I don't think it changed him at all as a person. He's quite a free spirited, very relaxed kind of guy and he tried to get that across to the team and that's how he wanted us to play as a side,” Buttler said, reported TOI.
One of the hallmarks of Samson’s captaincy this year was how he gave game-time to players to prove themselves before taking a decision. Under his leadership, two young stars came to the rise - Yashasvi Jaiswal and Chetan Sakariya - while the veterans, Jaydev Unadkat and Chris Morris too shined.
"It was a great learning experience for him. And I think, as the tournament was going along, at the halfway stage, he was really growing into the role, looking to put together some better, more consistent performances towards the end of the season as a side," Buttler added.
Not just that, the English batsman also went on to call Samson’s leadership stint as ‘authentic’, something he believed came through in the dressing room.
"It is really important as a leader to be authentic, and I think Sanju is very much that," Buttler added.