The Rajasthan Royals may have fell short in the Finals, but Sanju Samson’s performance as captain and batter were as impressive as ever through the tournament. As a skipper, Sanju Samson remained calm and tactical, using DRS well, and attacking the batters without much hesitation. Despite being on the wrong side of most tosses, Sanju Samson managed to lead his side to a lot of wins batting first, which explains volumes about his captaincy.
On quiet a few occasions, Rajasthan were left defending below par or just par scores, and such moments helped bring out the best of Sanju Samson the captain. He was willing to experiment, using just five specialist bowlers, but at different stages, and as a captain he played a massive role in bringing Rajasthan a lot of wins batting first.
As a batter, Sanju Samson impressed just as much. He was dropped from the Indian side towards the end of the season, but the announcement didn’t deter Samson as he continued to go out all guns blazing. Generally, a Sanju Samson season has a couple of seventies in the first two games and a string of low scores through the season, before another decent score in the end of the tournament.
The scores in the beginning of the season are often enough to win games for his side single-handedly, but his lack of consistency didn’t help them as they failed to qualify in previous seasons. Through IPL 2022, Sanju Samson has been batting with immense freedom. He does not worry about taking risks, and has been one of the fastest batters at the start of an innings, along with Prithvi Shaw.
He used his gifts and talents well, looking at ease on occasions where the others struggled. An example of his talent would be the qualifier two. With Rajasthan’s batters struggling on a two-paced wicket, Sanju Samson walked out and looked as though he was batting on a different surface. He was facing one of the best bowling attacks in the league, and was snubbed from the Indian team a few days before, but he continued to make statements, walking out and launching Yash Dayal into the crowd straightaway.
His assault helped as Jos Buttler struggled for fluency early on, but was able to find it as the innings went on. Sanju Samson kept taking risks on his way to another decent score, and showed why he should be on the Indian team. He displayed the talent and potential that has been spoken off a lot, but towards the end of his innings, Sanju Samson also showed why he isn’t on the Indian team.
Looking so fluent and batting with a sense of effortlessness, Sanju Samson was out suddenly, against the run of play, wasting a strong start and a chance to take his side far ahead in the game. His dismissal can help bring out the debate between top-order batters who accumulate patiently and those who go hard and score quickly but do not score too many.
While Sanju Samson had many promising knocks ruined by small moments, he still finished with some wonderful numbers. He scored more than 400 runs and went at a strike-rate above 150, which speaks volumes about his intent and consistency to score runs at a fast pace. The composition of his runs have also been impressive as Samson scored with equal ease against pace and spin.
Although Rajasthan didn’t end with the title, they will be pleased with how Sanju has gone in this tournament. As a skipper he showed a lot of promise, and with the bat Sanju Samson has reached a phase where he can be confident with his game. His international career may be in the balance, but as a cricketer, Sanju Samson is entering his best phase, and he will be hoping to make maximum use of the good days in store.