Sanju Samson appears to be a cool customer, shows little emotions on the field. But with the bat in hand, he can be as destructive as any other.
For the enormous talent and a brilliant strokeplayer that Samson is, he may not have really justified it in the chances that he got for Team India. But, the current Indian team has confidence has in the 27-year-old’s abilities. Even captain Rohit Sharma has talked of how his batting, especially on the on-side, will be effective in Australia.
Doing all things right on Tuesday in Pune, until at the point of becoming out soon after reaching his half-century, Samson played a captain’s knock for Rajasthan Royals. His 55 batting at number three contained five sixes and three fours, making up for the eight boundary deliveries out of the 27 he faced. Samson was chiefly responsible for Royals reaching the highest total of the tournament so far in five matches in this 15th edition of the IPL, 210/6.
Samson walked in to bat after young left-handed opener from Mumbai, Yashasvi Jaiswal (20) gave a solid start along with the vastly-experienced Englishman, Jos Buttler (35, 28, 3x4, 3x6). With summer on its way to achieving its peak in this part of the world, whatever grass was there on the pitch actually did not assist the Sunrisers Hyderabad new ball bowlers including the senior India limited-overs specialist medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Samson’s wide-range of strokes were on display and all the SRH bowler’s figures were demolished. Sixes came freely off Samson’s bat. Anything short, either from the pacers or from spinner Washington Sunder, were promptly despatched into the roofless stands of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium along the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway, in the outskirts of Pune.
While Samson was aggressive to begin with, he was happy to play second fiddle and watch the young left-hander from Karnataka, Devdutt Padikkal to take over the assault in his 29-ball 41. No sooner had Samson reached his 16th IPL fifty than he holed to the deep.
Samson’s knock on Tuesday sort of made amends to the previous visit he made to the ground that marked his return to international cricket in January 2020 against Sri Lanka in a T20I after a four-and-a-half year hiatus. Batting at No. 3 with quite a few overs in hand, Samson had promised to look good with a six off the first ball he faced but fell in the second ball attempting a similar shot.
But, on Tuesday, he cleared the boundary at will until his dismissal.