Sanju Samson is one of the most talented batters in Indian cricket he may be a bit underrated but has all the shots and even the temperament that is required to succeed at the top level. In the IPL, the right-handed wicket-keeper batter has done well but can he lead Rajasthan Royals to an IPL title?
Sanju Samson is one of the most technically sound batters that you will come across in modern-day cricket. The wicket-keeper batter who hails from Kerala is known to be a clean striker of the ball and can adapt to situations well when he comes out to bat. When you look at Sanju Samson's batting, you can see how calm the young player is as he looks comfortable at the crease despite the situation. He sometimes reminds me of MS Dhoni as like him Samson rarely shows his emotions on the field.
The right-handed batter started his cricket career in Delhi which many might not be aware of. However, in his early teens, Sanju Samson moved to Kerala and continued playing in his state. The young batter started scoring runs in the junior level cricket as he grabbed the eyeballs of people from the state association which eventually led to him getting a chance to make his first-class debut for Kerala in the year 2011.
In his List A career, Sanju Samson played 102 matches for Kerala and scored 2,610 runs with an average of 30 and the highest score of 212. He has also played 55 first-class games for his state and scored 3,162 runs with an average of 37.64 and with the highest score of 211.
The young batter from Kerala was being noticed for his exploits at the domestic level by many IPL franchises. Eventually, Sanju Samson got his opportunity in the Indian Premier League when Rajasthan Royals picked him up at the auction in 2013 for a sum of INR 10 lakh. He proved to be a good buy for the Rajasthan Royals as the young wicket-keeper batter scored 206 runs in 11 matches with an average of 25.75 in the tournament.
The following year, Sanju Samson's price sky-rocketed as many teams went after him but it was once again the Rajasthan Royals who managed to buy him back for a sum of INR 4 crore which was unbelievable for the twenty-year-old cricketer and put the spotlight on him. In 2014, he played 13 games for Rajasthan and scored 339 runs at an average of 26.07.
But, in 2015, the wicket-keeper batter was not as impressive as in the previous two seasons as he could score just 204 runs from 14 matches. Following this, Sanju Samson moved to Delhi Daredevils now known as Delhi Capitals for INR 4.2 crore. He could not do much with the Delhi team as he stayed with them for the 2016 season. But, he did well in the 2017 season and was the top run-scorer for Delhi. The Delhi-based franchise did not retain him and he was back on the auction table where once again Rajasthan Royals bought him for INR 8 crore which was the highest that he had ever been given.
The intentions of the Rajasthan Royals were pretty clear as they wanted a long-term association with Sanju Samson and wanted him to be a part of the side. Sanju Samson looked much more focused and had clarity about what was expected of him. Samson performed brilliantly during the season as he score over 400 runs for the very first time in 2018 proving a point as to why he was bought for such a high price.
Since then, Sanju Samson has been an integral part of the Rajasthan Royals team and has performed well for his franchise. With the likes of stalwarts like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes around him, Sanju has still managed to make his presence felt. He has three IPL centuries to his name two of which have come while playing for Rajasthan Royals.
In January 2021, Sanju Samson was named the captain of Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. It came as a surprise to many when the franchise chose him over players like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. However, the bold decision was lauded by many cricket experts as they felt Sanju Samson could do well as skipper of RR.
Rajasthan Royals in 2021 had a tough time under their new skipper. They had one of the worst seasons as they lost 9 games during the tournament and finished 7 which was second last in the IPL. The team that did worse than them was the Sunrisers Hyderabad who finished last.
This year, the story seems to be different as Sanju Samson looks much more confident as a leader and so far his team has done exceptionally well. The Rajasthan Royals are dominating in IPL 2022 and look like a side that believes in themselves. During the mega-auction, Rajasthan Royals managed to put together a solid team and that is showing.
The team has done well with both bat and ball as Jos Buttler with the bat and Yuzvendra Chahal with the ball have been phenomenal so far. Sanju Samson too has looked confident as captain and has led from the front. He has played some crucial knocks so far to get his team to a match-winning total.
But, the thing that has stood out the most has been the fact that Sanju Samson has looked very confident as a leader. He seems to have a plan at all times and does not get rattled when under pressure. He keeps his emotions in check and executes his plans by rotating bowlers and setting the right field for them.
This year it looks like Rajasthan Royals under Sanju Samson are on a mission and could very well get their hands on the IPL trophy which could be a fitting tribute to the very first 'Royal' that was Shane Warne.