The extremely competitive and resolve challenging nature of the sport continues to live on in this innovative shortened format of the game, T20 cricket has been another wind in the sails for one of mans most beloved pastimes and the support for the beloved sport has returned to its glorious levels of yesteryear with competitions like the Pepsi IPL making the game as fiery and as adored as it has ever been across all echelons and classes. Within this great hive of growth and success across the sport, the culture of youth development in cricket has once again received its platform to shine within the game as more competitions and formats equate to a need for more players as playing opportunities become available across the realm. The Pepsi IPL has begun to mark itself out as a competition where uncut diamonds are unearthed and the 2015 edition has continued that growing culture in some style, our Talent Scout will continue to run the rule over some of the best u/23 players in the competition in this IPL 2015 Young Gun Scouting Report feature. Bless you.
Full Name: Sanju Viswanath Samson
DoB: November 11th, 1994 (20)
PoB: Pulluvila, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Batting Style: Right-Hand
Bowling Style: N/A
Playing Role: Wicketkeeper Batsman
IPL Franchise: Rajasthan Royals
IPL Squad No: #9
Represented Teams: India u/19, India A, Kerala, Kerala Cricket Association XI, Kolkata Knight Riders
IPL 2015 Record: 6 Innings, 68 Runs, S/R 93.15, Ave 13.60, T/S 26, 5 Catches
T20 Record: 57 Innings, 1224 Runs, S/R 116.79, Ave 24.00, T/S 74, 8 50’s, 43 Catches, 4 Stumpings, 1 Wicket
T20 Debut: Hyderabad (India) v Kerala; October 16th, 2011 (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy)
The Grand Stand View
5 1oo’s, 4 50’s, an average of 44.70 and a top score of 211; those look like the type of numbers many good batsmen retire without fully matching or eclipsing, but those are the current First Class numbers of a 20 year old wicketkeeper batsman who has been dubbed, “The Future Of India” and a worthy heir apparent to the void MS Dhoni will naturally leave when he leaves the international scene in years to come.
Sanju Samson seems to have become accustomed to the pressures of being a young man playing to justify his potential at a level some may have thought was too high for him, the Kerala born run machine was selected to play for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy debut when he was just 15 years old and went on to make his debut at 17 and never looked out of place as he showed the composure and stroke play to score big runs and entertain the fans with his athleticism behind the stumps.
The lad took his brilliant form along with him as he vice-captained a talented squad of young Indian cricketers as they battled for world supremacy at youth level in the United Arab Emirates, Sanju top scored for the Indian u/19’s in the 2014 ICC u/19 Cricket World Cup with an impressive 267 runs scored off 276 ball at an average of 44.50 and a top score of 85. That confident showing was more than enough to see him included in the India A side for the 2014 Quadrangular A-Team One-Day Series in Australia where he was the leading run scorer for the India A side with 244 runs in 7 innings with an average of 81.33 and two 50’s thrown in for added measure. Batting lower down the order, Sanju showed that he had the composure to take an innings deep and finish for his side while also providing an extra bit of insightfulness to the team with his leadership qualities and processional approach.
While the numbers themselves should be enough to justify why this lad deserves to be recognised as one of the best young talents out there right now, he has backed up his ability with impressive stoke play and his ability to construct an innings so well at such a young age; the honour of setting the record for being the youngest player to score a half-century in the IPL and the Champions League Twenty20 is just a welcome justification of the potential laden lads talent. The experience he has garnered from playing in different types of conditions while encountering drastically different in-game situations at such a young age will bode well for a lad that has been earmarked for a role in the middle-order for India, such experiences will put him good stead as he seeks to excel in a role that can be unpredictable and highly pressuring for any cricketer regardless of their years in the game.