In the Bible, Samson has super-human strength – and the Royals wicket keeper / batsman Sanju Samson has produced some mighty performances over the years. The son of a Delhi police constable, Sanju signed for the Royals in 2013 and soon made his mark. In his IPL debut against Kings XI Punjab, he took two smart catches and secured a run-out from behind the stumps. He also excelled with the bat that day. Chasing a target of 126 runs, he joined Rahane with his team in trouble on 79 for 4 and hit a composed 27 runs to help see the Royals home with 4 balls to spare.
This player clearly had a wise head on his young shoulders. He also performed well in his second match, against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Rajasthan Royals were chasing a tough target of 172 when Sanju was promoted up the batting order to No.3. He scored 63 off 41 balls, laying the foundation for a Rajasthan victory. He won the Man of the Match award for his performance – and with that knock, he became the youngest player to score an IPL half-century, achieving the feat at the tender age of 18 years and 169 days. A star had been born! Sanju continued his good run throughout IPL 2013, scoring 40 against Kolkata Knight Riders and 47 against Kings XI Punjab. In the tense eliminator match between Rajasthan and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Samson came in to bat at No.6 with his team in a precarious situation at 57 for 5 as they pursued a total of 133 runs to win,. Again his cool head prevailed and he helped the Royals achieve victory. Sanju deservedly won the best young player award in IPL 2013 through a poll conducted on the official IPL website.
In IPL 2014, Sanju was one of the leading run getters for the Royals. In the thrilling final league match against Mumbai Indians, he was the top scorer with 74. For the 2015 season, although Sanju didn’t quite manage to repeat his earlier heroics, he did produce an outstanding 76 runs off 46 balls against the Mumbai Indians which almost helped the Royals secure victory from a losing position.
Sanju Samson is one of the many examples of the ability of the Royals’ scouting team to unearth young talent with rich potential and the ability to go far.