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Sanju Samson – Striking It Big In The Last Three Seasons

Samson was again the second-highest scorer for the Royals in IPL 2019 but what stood out was his strike rate of 148.69 – only six batsmen with a higher aggregate had a better strike rate.

Nikhil Narain |November 28, 2019, 8:45 AM IST
Sanju Samson – Striking It Big In The Last Three Seasons

Sanju Samson was recalled to the T20I side to face the West Indies after an injury to Shikhar Dhawan ruled the opener out of the series.

Samson has just played one T20I for India – against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2015 and was in the squad for the Bangladesh series but did not make it to the playing XI in any match.

Overall, he has played 146 T20 matches and scored 3465 runs at an average of 27.5 and strike rate of 126.59, including two hundreds and 21 fifties.

SANJU SAMSON

Samson has represented two IPL franchises – Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals.

He is the third-highest scorer for the Royals and has aggregated 1532 runs for the franchise at an average of 27.85 and strike rate of 131.61 in 61 IPL innings in his two stints with them (2013-2015 and 2018-2019).

Playing in just his second match for the Royals, Samson smashed 63 off just 41 deliveries against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2013 and announced his arrival on the big stage.

He was the joint-highest scorer (with Ajinkya Rahane) in 2014 aggregating 339 runs in 13 innings.

After a relatively quiet IPL 2015, he moved to Delhi Daredevils for two seasons.

It was his second season with them in IPL 2017 that marked the transformation for Samson as a T20 batsman. Not only did he score more runs but he did so at a rapid rate. From playing within himself in the first four seasons, Samson expressed himself and showed his true potential in the next three.

He topped the charts for the Daredevils in 2017 with 386 runs in 14 innings at a strike rate of 141.39. This was a significant increase from his strike rate of 112.35 in the previous season. It was also considerably higher than his average strike rate of 119.35 in the previous four seasons.

This changed his image from a good batsman to a dangerous one capable of consistently producing the destructive match-winning innings.

He recorded his first IPL hundred against Rising Pune Supergiant in April 2017 blasting 102 off just 63 deliveries smashing 8 fours and 5 sixes.

He returned to the Royals in 2018 and was their second-highest scorer of the season aggregating 441 runs in 15 innings at an average of 31.5 and strike rate of 137.81.

His standout innings came against RCB when he hammered an unbeaten 92 off just 45 deliveries in a knock that included 10 sixes!

Samson was again the second-highest scorer for the Royals in IPL 2019 but what stood out was his strike rate of 148.69 – only six batsmen with a higher aggregate had a better strike rate.

He hit his second IPL ton smashing 102 off just 55 deliveries against Sunrisers Hyderabad in March, 2019.

SANJU SAMSON2

Samson’s average in the last three seasons has been higher than his average in any of the previous seasons. It has increased from 24.76 between 2013-2016 to 30.76 between 2017-2019.

His scoring rate has seen an ever higher growth curve and been over 137 in the last three seasons. It has dramatically increased from 119.13 in the first four seasons to 142.04 in the last three.

His ability to hit boundaries has seen a sharp rise in the last three seasons.

SANJU SAMSON 3

Samson has notched up a couple of good scores for Kerala in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMA), 2019. He scored 53 against Rajasthan and followed that with a 28-ball 38 against Uttar Pradesh.

Overall, he has scored 1045 runs in 44 innings in the SMA Trophy at an average of 26.12 and strike rate of 120.66.

Samson also cracked a magnificent 212 in just 129 deliveries against Goa at Alur in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last month – it was the highest individual score in the history of the tournament.

He had also slammed a 48-ball 91 against South Africa A at Thiruvananthapuram in September.

With Rishabh Pant not exactly setting the stage on fire for India in T20I cricket and with two back to back World T20 tournaments in 2020 and 2021, this could be Samson’s chance to shine and cement a more permanent position in the Indian eleven.

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