What if Sanja’s hitter teams up with Captain Sanja?

“His captaincy this year was a revelation,” says Samson’s longtime former coach Biu George © BCCI / IPL

Sanja Samson has so far won the Indian Premier League 2022 in just 1 throw in 12 games. He may have run out of luck with the coin, but his mood was as calm as it came; he finished his job without worry, as did Rajasthan Royals, who is currently third on the points table. The same calm was evident when the two sides – Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals – met earlier in the tournament, when opposing captain Rishabh Pant was apparently trying to pull his strikers due to a decision without the ball in the final they did not succeed. Samson, watching the drama unfold, was calm; he continued the game and completed the formalities without being overwhelmed by emotions as his team achieved a 15-round victory.

His longtime former coach, Biju George, was in opposition camp that night as he was appointed DC’s field coach ahead of the season. The way Samson is doing his job this season did not surprise him. “His captaincy this year was a revelation,” George says Cricbuzz. “People doubted his captaincy and his ability to implement leadership skills at the highest level, but he does it every day. He’s so calm, never annoyed.”

George has known Samson for more than 15 years. Samson was just 11 years old when his father took him to the George Cricket Academy in Trivandrum, along with his older brother Saly. The Samsons had just returned from New Delhi and George’s friend who worked at the BCCI referred the youth to the academy to hone their skills. Samson’s daily journey of 15 km from Vižinje to Trivandrum paid off in the end, with the right-hander being considered among the best goalkeepers and strikers in the country.

This kid (Samson) came and the big thing about him is his faith in himself, his work ethic and his determination. khadoos; he always had the mentality to compete upstairs. He traveled 15 km each day; he came on the field at 6:30 a.m., practiced until 8:30, hurried to school, returned at 4:30, practiced until 6: 30-7 and still managed to get 90-plus percent on each exam. If Sanja had not been a cricket player, he would have been an IPS officer. That was his ambition. Even during his U19 days he carried a bunch of books with him and got top marks. He is very studious about things and studies the game too well. ”

George recognized very early on not only his talent, but also the potential of what Samson can do and be. Samson was only 12 years old when he represented his school – St Joseph’s – in a game on a rainy day in conditions unsuitable for hitting. “The ground was really slimy because it was raining. We played on the muddy wicket. It was really hard to even stand on that ground, but he broke the bowlers far at will. I saw a spark in him that day.”

In the postponed season of the 2020 IPL, Samson spoke at length about changing approaches after COVID

In the postponed IPL 2020 season, Samson spoke at length about changing approaches after COVID © IPL

The spark, however, has darkened in the last few years of the IPL. Categorically, Samson was a hitter that the Royals rely heavily on in the midfield. As it begins promisingly, as the season progresses, Samson’s form seems to be shrinking, and this has been largely reflected in RR’s finals in recent seasons. Between 2019 and 2022, here are Samson’s numbers in the first three changes of the season compared to the rest of the season:

Year The first 3 changes The rest of the season
2019 Run 140, Average 70, SR 155.5 Inn 9, Running 202, Avg. 25.25, SR 144.28
2020 Run 167, Avg 55.67, SR 201.20 Inn 11, Race 208, Avg. 20.80, 135.94 SR
2021 Run 124, Avg 41.33, SR 174.64 Inn 11, Runs 360, Avg. 40.00, SR 127.20
2022 Run 93, Avg. 31.00, S / R 166.07 Inn 9, Racing 234, Avg. 29.25

“His innate sense of timing makes him special. He doesn’t seem to hit the ball hard, but it travels. There are two types of players in this world when it comes to hitting – one is consistent players and the other is players with punches. Impact players are. “Virender Sehwag will not score a century in every match, but when he scores, he will win the game for you. Rishabh Pant is an influential player. Players like this should be given the freedom to fail,” said George of Samson.

“Cricket should be played as an expression of your identity; it’s an extension of yourself. Somehow now I don’t see the same freedom that was so obvious when he hit earlier in the IPL, took over like Mitchell Johnson and smashed it everywhere. His captaincy is fine, but yet as a captain you realize that the responsibility is on you and that you can influence. He is one of the best hitters on any team, but that exuberance, that brilliance is not seen far away. ”

In the postponed season of the 2020 IPL, Samson spoke at length about the change of approach after COVID where he worked on certain aspects of his game – mostly on the strength aspect. During the isolation and on the eve of that season, he worked intensively on building strength to adapt to the modern requirements of the power game in T20 cricket to stay relevant in the format. While this is a popular school of thought with strikers who tend to embrace power play and take the risk of being at the center of T20 cricket, George believes otherwise.

“Sanju is blessed with timing, and in his quest for power, you could lose out on timing, form and grace. Sanju is perfect in his own way, and I don’t think he needs a power game. I’m not a big fan of this power game. Rohit Sharma is one of Suryakumar Yadav, no power game Sanju has a sense of timing, he has a wonderful wrist work, his leg work is good … Strength is important, but not that important. Your timing, fitness, mental acumen, reading the game, it’s all more important than someone with pure brute force who can force the ball out of the stump over a midwicket for a six. Sometimes it can happen, not every time. The chances of failure are much higher in the power game. When you depend on your time, you fail less. ”

In many ways, George’s statement was confirmed in the advancement of Samson’s 2022 season. His choice of shots caused a rebuke, and any such rejection alludes to missed opportunities for India’s selection.

But that’s for later. Rajasthan Royals needs Samson right now; are near the end of the playoffs, are currently in 3rd place, but loss of eight passes in DC on Wednesday (May 11) leaves them with two games to win in order to finish with 18 points. He wore the captain’s hat appropriately, but striker Samson has to stand up to give RR a finish unlike previous seasons. And the beginning of that can be giving up the commitment to the game of power, encouraging contradictions in the opinion about the requirement for a team in T20 cricket.

© Cricbuzz

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