Rajasthan Royals’ skipper Sanju Samson is in the midst of an excellent Indian Premier League campaign this year.

Since his debut with the Royals as a teenager in 2013 under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, Samson has grown leaps and bounds to be the player he is today. He has been the Royals’ best batter to date, having scored 3,874 runs from 141 matches averaging 32.28 with a strike rate of 141.33.

In IPL 2024, Samson has amassed 471 runs from 11 matches so far to be the Royals’ top-scorer and has also found a place in the top-five overall run-getters list. But a close look at the numbers shows why this has been a breakout season for the wicketkeeper-batter.

With three games remaining in the group stage, Samson is only 13 runs short of his best IPL season with the bat, 484 runs from 14 matches in IPL 2021, his first season as the captain of the Royals.

As skipper, Samson’s performance with the bat has improved, averaging 37.77 with a strike rate of 149.16 as compared to 27.78 and 133.75, respectively, when he was just a player.

This has been the most consistent season for Samson, as he has already racked up five fifty-plus scores, the most in a single season in his IPL career.

A calm and mature head has helped Samson turn around his batting and play the long innings for the Royals in crucial situations. Samson averages 67.28 in IPL 2024, an unbelievable number for T20s and almost 27 runs more than his next-best season.

The 29-year-old Samson’s consistent returns with the bat have helped him get the nod from the selectors as he was named in the 15-member squad of the Indian cricket team for the T20 World Cup 2024.




The improvement in Samson’s power-hitting ability over his IPL career has been a revelation. He has kept abreast with the changing dynamics of the shortest format of the game, where boundary-hitting has evolved as the main game-changer.

“It is a 20-over game. Each and every over is five percent of the game. So, you just can’t say that you need time to settle down,” Sanju said on the ‘Captains Speak’ segment of Star Sports. “You cannot say that you will hit sixes after scoring 10 runs or you do not want to hit this bowler, or you will hit in the end.”

For the third consecutive season, Samson has crossed 20 sixes en route to becoming the fastest Indian batter to 200 sixes in the IPL. In IPL 2024, Samson has hit 23 sixes, just three short of his tally of most sixes in a single season.

Samson has also notched up 44 fours this season, which means 66.67 percent of his total runs this year have been from boundaries. Samson has placed a huge emphasis on going big in T20s since the time he took over as the Royals’ skipper.

“There is only one intent in the IPL, you will have to go and look for boundaries. You just have to show that intent, you will have to look for sixes. You have to do that impact role as fast as possible,” the Royals skipper explained.

Sanju has walked the talk, with close to 70 percent of his runs in the last three seasons coming through fours and sixes and at an alarming frequency as well. He has averaged a boundary less than every five balls in the last three years with the current year being the best at 4.30 balls.


Sanju Samson IPL stats


Year Matches Runs Average Strike Rate High Score 100s/50s 4s/6s 4/s/6s Runs % Balls/Boundary
2013 11 206 25.75 115.73 63 0/1 19/5 51.46% 7.42
2014 13 339 26.07 124.17 74 0/2 25/17 59.59% 6.50
2015 14 204 20.40 125.15 76 0/1 16/8 54.90% 6.79
2016 14 291 26.45 112.35 60 0/1 20/8 43.99% 9.25
2017 14 386 27.57 141.39 102 1/2 32/19 62.69% 5.35
2018 15 441 31.50 137.81 92* 0/3 30/19 53.06% 6.53
2019 12 342 34.20 148.69 102* 1/0 28/13 55.56% 5.61
2020 14 375 28.84 158.89 85 0/3 21/26 64.00% 5.02
2021 14 484 40.33 136.72 119 1/2 45/17 58.26% 5.71
2022 17 458 28.62 146.79 55 0/2 43/26 71.62% 4.52
2023 14 362 30.16 153.38 66 0/3 25/24 67.40% 4.82
2024 11 471 67.28 163.54 86 0/5 44/23 66.67% 4.30


A comparison between Samson the batter and the captain also explains the amount of hard work he has put in to get his big hits right. As a batter, he scored around 56% of his runs in boundaries but after taking over the captaincy in 2021, that number has gone close to 66% and the frequency of boundary balls has come down from 6.31 to 4.82.

“There is no individual pattern of scoring runs,” Samson explained. “There is only one way, you just go and dominate. If you don’t dominate, you expect your teammates to dominate. So, if everyone doesn’t dominate, you lose the game. There is no second gear, always going, going, going .... is what my belief is about T20s.”

Samson smashed his runs in 2024 so far at an excellent strike rate of 163.54, his best in 12 seasons in the IPL. The captain is leading the way for the Royals this year with his attacking intent and boundary-hitting ability.

With a minimum of three group games remaining and possibly more in the playoffs, Samson has the chance of making IPL 2024 an eventful one, both on the personal front and from a team’s point of view. History beckons.