Teams Played For
India, Delhi Daredevils, India Under-19s, Kerala, Kerala Cricket Association XI, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, North and South Zones, India A
Dubbed as ‘The next big thing’ Sanju Samson is one of the most gifted players across India. A fine wicket-keeper batsman, having a sound technique, Samson made a name for himself in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2014, where he finished as the sixth highest-run getter in the tournament.
Samson made his first class debut for Kerala as a 17-year-old in 2012, and some good batting performances in his debut season earned him a slot in the Under-19 Asia Cup in the very same year. However, the tournament was a disaster for Samson, as he could only amass 14 runs from the three innings that he played.
The next Ranji season was a special one for the young prodigy, as Samson scored two-centuries and a half-century on his way to amassing 530 runs. The special thing about the season was the fact that most of his runs came in tough seaming conditions and under pressure situations.
At the start of the 2015/16 Ranji Trophy season, Samson was appointed Kerala’s new captain, thus becoming the youngest captain to lead a Ranji Trophy side in an entire tournament. In the very same year, Samson was given the opportunity to make his T20I debut against Zimbabwe. He scored 19 of 24 deliveries and struggled to time the ball properly.
In August 2018, Samson was suspended by the Kerala Cricket Association, for showing dissent to their skipper, Sachin Baby.
Samson continued his great domestic form in the 2019 Vijay Hazare Trophy. The dashing player scored his maiden double century and in the process garnered praise from the cricketing fraternities across India. He also shared a mammoth 338-run partnership along with Sachin Baby, and till date it is the highest partnership recorded in a List-A game.
Samson knocked the doors of the national selectors consistently, and eventually returned to India’s T20I squad in 2020, but failed to cement his place in the side.
In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Samson has been one of the most consistent performers for Rajasthan Royals. He was spotted early by the Kolkata Knight Riders (in 2012). The franchise awarded him a contract to play in IPL 2013, but the young man could not make it into the playing XI. He showcased his talents with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL next year and the leadership of Rahul Dravid helped him grow as a batsman. Dravid spoke highly of Samson and recognised his potential as one for the future of Indian cricket.
When Rajasthan Royals were banned from IPL for two seasons, Samson followed his mentor Dravid to the Delhi team and played well for them in the IPL 2016 and 2017 scoring 291 runs and 386 runs, respectively.
After making a comeback for the Rajasthan Royals in 2018, Samson has amassed 441, 342 and 375 runs in IPL 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.
A technically gifted player Samson will look to rectify his mistakes and polish his skills, and would be hoping to get one more opportunity to represent India at the big stage.
(As of March 21)