The mercurial Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson is a treat to watch when he gets going. Unfortunately for the batsman, he is far too inconsistent for his own good.
No one has doubt over the capability of Sanju Samson. Whoever has seen him at his best knows that the batsman has a lot of potential and is a handful for the opposition bowlers when on song.
However, the problem with him has been that the batsman has not been able to convert his potential into the kind of consistent performances he would like to stitch together.
In IPL 2020, an edition which was played behind closed doors in the UAE, Sanju Samson started with a bang with a brilliant 85 run not out in which he smashed the bowlers to all parts of the park.
Samson was particularly punishing against the spinners and hit boundaries for fun. However, his form tapered off after a good start and he ended up with an average of just 28.84 in IPL 2020.
Similarly, after playing a brilliant 119 run hand in Rajasthan Royals’ season opener of IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings, Samson was not able to replicate his performances.
RR were chasing 222 against a Punjab bowling lineup that included Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami and Murugan Ashwin. Samson looked in a league of his own as he smashed 119 off just 63 deliveries with 12 fours and 7 sixes, batting at a strike rate of 188.89.
“I think the second part of the innings was the best I ever played, took my time and respected the bowlers, whereas in the first part I was not timing it very well. I took the singles and got into a rhythm and then I started to play my shots in the second half. I enjoy my shots but I come back to the present after I play those shots. It automatically happens, when I focus on my skills and watch the ball and react. Sometimes I lose my wicket also, so I just play the same way. It’s about trusting my processes to be honest, and I did that, and it came off tonight,” Man of the Match Sanju Samson (119 off 63) said.
Had he not been caught off the last ball of the match right at the boundary, he would have taken Rajasthan to an improbable victory. But, since then, he has stitched together quite a few low scores, and needs to work on his consistency.