Sanju Samson will lead Rajasthan Royalsin the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
After Rajasthan Royals decided to release their captain Steve Smith prior to the IPL auction, many thought either Ben Stokes or Jos Buttler would be the new captain, but everyone was surprised with their choice. However, they annouced the new captain within an hour and it was Sanju Samson.
The franchise backed him to replace the Australian player as the captain. But it was something that Sanju Samson was aware of a while before the announcement was made public and he had told a few of them knew about this news.
“It was tough keeping it to myself,” Sanju Samson told Hindustan Times.
The 26-year-old talented cricketer also revealed that many stalwarts of Indian cricket have congratulated him over text message after he was officially named the skipper of the Rajasthan Royals. “I got some nice congratulatory messages from Virat bhai, Rohit bhai and Mahi bhai,” Samson further added.
The wicket-keeper batsman had previously led Kerala, Kerala U-19 team along with the India U-19 team and he believes that it will be comfortable for him as he has been with the team since his teenage.
“I firmly believe that a captain is only good if the team is good” – Sanju Samson
“The fact that my team and the franchise trust me to do this job gives great confidence that there is something in me. I firmly believe that a captain is only good if the team is good. The Royals have a quality bunch of great players and amazing support staff backing them. I’ve known most of them for years; they are like family. So, I’m in a comfortable space with the people I have around me. I have been part of the Royals from my teen days in 2013,” he again shared.
Meanwhile, Sanju Samson is also excited to work with former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara who has been appointed as the Director of Cricket by the Royals for the 2021 IPL season.
“Sanga is a legend; not just because of his cricket. He knows exactly where I am coming from, what I will be feeling and going through playing for my country and leading an IPL team at this age. I couldn’t have asked for anything more than having Sanga as my partner in this role,” Samson expressed.
He also opined that wicket-keepers are the best judge on the cricket field as they “can see a lot more things, analyse the game better and is one step ahead.” However, this year as many as four wicket-keeper batsmen will lead tea IPL teams.
Last year’s highest run-getter for Royals also said that good things are ahead of them and he will ask to play fearless cricket to his team in all departments.
“I don’t think we did too much wrong in the last season. If you look at our XI on paper, we’re one of the best. If we are in the right mindset as a team, I believe good things are ahead of us. This format demands a lot of fearless cricket, be it in batting, bowling or fielding. It’s all about speed, power and expressing yourself. That’s what I expect from my team,” Sanju Samson concluded.
The Rajasthan Royals will play their first game against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on April 12.