Sanju Samson made his domestic cricket debut in 2011 and it didn’t take the man from Kerala too long to find his calling.

Known as a hard-hitter of the ball, Samson quickly went up through the ranks to make his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut with Rajasthan Royals in 2013. He made his bow with the Indian cricket team in 2015.

The world soon took notice. Right from his innings in the Champions League T20 final in 2013 against Mumbai Indians, where he scored a 33-ball 60 against the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sanju has shown that he can fit the bill of a big hitter, even with his class and style. 

“When you are playing cricket in India, which is No. 1 in the world, the number of players who play, the talent we have, the competition we have, and a guy from Kerala has to come in and cement his place in the national side, he has to do something special,” Samson said during the Star Sports ‘Star Nahi Far’ event in Kochi.

“I just wanted to be special and stand out with the way I bat. I wanted to create my own style of batting and no matter even if it was the first ball, I just want to go out there and hit a six,” he explained. “So, that's a shift in the mindset that I had and I just wanted to do something different like ‘why do we have to wait for 10 balls to hit a six?’ 

“If I feel like I do it at the first ball and that was the motive behind the development of my power stroke,” Samson added. “I put in a lot of effort, particularly during COVID times. A lot of things went on behind the scenes, which only I only know and my close people know.”

The wicket-keeper from Kerala has been the batting mainstay at Rajasthan Royals. He is the team’s top run-scorer with 3,403 runs at an average of 30.11 and a strike rate of 138.72. He has also been a reliable gloveman and an excellent fielder for the side.

Samson has been the Rajasthan Royals captain since 2021. In his debut match as a Royals skipper, he scored a whirlwind 119 off just 63 balls against the Punjab Kings, striking at an astonishing rate of 188.88. He finished as the Royals’ best batter in IPL 2021 with a tally of 484 runs. 

In IPL 2022, he backed it up with another 400-run season, this time scoring 458 runs at a strike rate of 146.79. In the last edition, he scored 362 runs at an even better strike rate of 153.38.

“I'm very happy that things are going well. The grind keeps on going and I am never satisfied. I just want to do something spectacular for the side I play for,” Samson declared.

The IPL 2024 season kicks off on March 22, with Rajasthan Royals’ first match slated against the Lucknow Super Giants on March 24 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.