Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson was perhaps the first top-drawer Indian player to be known primarily for his feats for his IPL franchise than for the national side.

He has been a fixture for the Rajasthan Royals throughout their first eight seasons, scoring more than 3000 runs for them.

Early in his teen years, after getting his first cricket lessons in Delhi, where his father was a police constable, Samson relocated to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. He made waves among young players in Kerala with his batting, displaying outstanding technique and the capacity to timing the ball precisely. He was chosen for the India Under-19 World Cup team the next year despite being included in the team for the Under-19 Asia Cup in 2011, where he did not perform well.

Samson joined the Rajasthan Royals at the IPL auction in 2013 when he was 18 years old, and with the exception of the two seasons the franchise was out of the league, he has consistently been a starter for the squad. Before being selected captain in 2021, he scored 484 runs. He got the team’s competition off to a fast start with a barnstorming 119 off 63 balls against Punjab Kings. He scored three 40s in a row later in the season, then an unbeaten 70 and an 82 in back-to-back games. The Royals’ standings on the tournament’s points table did not correspond to his great, dependable performances until 2022, when they finished second (Samson scored 458 runs that season).

In 2011–12, he made his first-class debut while playing for Kerala as a keeper and batsman in the Ranji Trophy. He scored 530 runs in 2013–14, averaging just under 60 per game, including a double-digit total in his debut. The following season, he ran for 475 runs. He was 20 years old when he served as Kerala’s team captain for the 2015–16 season. In an exhibition of his by that point exceptional white-ball abilities, Samson scored 212 runs for Kerala against Goa in October 2019, breaking the previous mark for the highest score in Vijay Hazare Trophy history.

In July 2015, he received a call-up to the India T20 team, and in Harare, he competed in India’s maiden T20 match against Zimbabwe. He didn’t play for India again for another four and a half years after that. Before he played in his subsequent ODI, which was a part of a series in the West Indies and in which he scored 54 runs in the second game, there was another year’s layoff following his ODI debut in 2021.

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